Tag Archives: AWS X-Ray

Introducing AWS Lambda Powertools for .NET

Post Syndicated from Julian Wood original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/introducing-aws-lambda-powertools-for-net/

This blog post is written by Amir Khairalomoum, Senior Solutions Architect.

Modern applications are built with modular architectural patterns, serverless operational models, and agile developer processes. They allow you to innovate faster, reduce risk, accelerate time to market, and decrease your total cost of ownership (TCO). A microservices architecture comprises many distributed parts that can introduce complexity to application observability. Modern observability must respond to this complexity, the increased frequency of software deployments, and the short-lived nature of AWS Lambda execution environments.

The Serverless Applications Lens for the AWS Well-Architected Framework focuses on how to design, deploy, and architect your serverless application workloads in the AWS Cloud. AWS Lambda Powertools for .NET translates some of the best practices defined in the serverless lens into a suite of utilities. You can use these in your application to apply structured logging, distributed tracing, and monitoring of metrics.

Following the community’s continued adoption of AWS Lambda Powertools for Python, Java, and TypeScript, AWS Lambda Powertools for .NET is now generally available.

This post shows how to use the new open source Powertools library to implement observability best practices with minimal coding. It walks through getting started, with the provided examples available in the Powertools GitHub repository.

About Powertools

Powertools for .NET is a suite of utilities that helps with implementing observability best practices without needing to write additional custom code. It currently supports Lambda functions written in C#, with support for runtime versions .NET 6 and newer. Powertools provides three core utilities:

  • Tracing provides a simpler way to send traces from functions to AWS X-Ray. It provides visibility into function calls, interactions with other AWS services, or external HTTP requests. You can add attributes to traces to allow filtering based on key information. For example, when using the Tracing attribute, it creates a ColdStart annotation. You can easily group and analyze traces to understand the initialization process.
  • Logging provides a custom logger that outputs structured JSON. It allows you to pass in strings or more complex objects, and takes care of serializing the log output. The logger handles common use cases, such as logging the Lambda event payload, and capturing cold start information. This includes appending custom keys to the logger.
  • Metrics simplifies collecting custom metrics from your application, without the need to make synchronous requests to external systems. This functionality allows capturing metrics asynchronously using Amazon CloudWatch Embedded Metric Format (EMF) which reduces latency and cost. This provides convenient functionality for common cases, such as validating metrics against CloudWatch EMF specification and tracking cold starts.

Getting started

The following steps explain how to use Powertools to implement structured logging, add custom metrics, and enable tracing with AWS X-Ray. The example application consists of an Amazon API Gateway endpoint, a Lambda function, and an Amazon DynamoDB table. It uses the AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM) to manage the deployment.

When you send a GET request to the API Gateway endpoint, the Lambda function is invoked. This function calls a location API to find the IP address, stores it in the DynamoDB table, and returns it with a greeting message to the client.

Example application

Example application

The AWS Lambda Powertools for .NET utilities are available as NuGet packages. Each core utility has a separate NuGet package. It allows you to add only the packages you need. This helps to make the Lambda package size smaller, which can improve the performance.

To implement each of these core utilities in a separate example, use the Globals sections of the AWS SAM template to configure Powertools environment variables and enable active tracing for all Lambda functions and Amazon API Gateway stages.

Sometimes resources that you declare in an AWS SAM template have common configurations. Instead of duplicating this information in every resource, you can declare them once in the Globals section and let your resources inherit them.

Logging

The following steps explain how to implement structured logging in an application. The logging example shows you how to use the logging feature.

To add the Powertools logging library to your project, install the packages from NuGet gallery, from Visual Studio editor, or by using following .NET CLI command:

dotnet add package AWS.Lambda.Powertools.Logging

Use environment variables in the Globals sections of the AWS SAM template to configure the logging library:

  Globals:
    Function:
      Environment:
        Variables:
          POWERTOOLS_SERVICE_NAME: powertools-dotnet-logging-sample
          POWERTOOLS_LOG_LEVEL: Debug
          POWERTOOLS_LOGGER_CASE: SnakeCase

Decorate the Lambda function handler method with the Logging attribute in the code. This enables the utility and allows you to use the Logger functionality to output structured logs by passing messages as a string. For example:

[Logging]
public async Task<APIGatewayProxyResponse> FunctionHandler
         (APIGatewayProxyRequest apigProxyEvent, ILambdaContext context)
{
  ...
  Logger.LogInformation("Getting ip address from external service");
  var location = await GetCallingIp();
  ...
}

Lambda sends the output to Amazon CloudWatch Logs as a JSON-formatted line.

{
  "cold_start": true,
  "xray_trace_id": "1-621b9125-0a3b544c0244dae940ab3405",
  "function_name": "powertools-dotnet-tracing-sampl-HelloWorldFunction-v0F2GJwy5r1V",
  "function_version": "$LATEST",
  "function_memory_size": 256,
  "function_arn": "arn:aws:lambda:eu-west-2:286043031651:function:powertools-dotnet-tracing-sample-HelloWorldFunction-v0F2GJwy5r1V",
  "function_request_id": "3ad9140b-b156-406e-b314-5ac414fecde1",
  "timestamp": "2022-02-27T14:56:39.2737371Z",
  "level": "Information",
  "service": "powertools-dotnet-sample",
  "name": "AWS.Lambda.Powertools.Logging.Logger",
  "message": "Getting ip address from external service"
}

Another common use case, especially when developing new Lambda functions, is to print a log of the event received by the handler. You can achieve this by enabling LogEvent on the Logging attribute. This is disabled by default to prevent potentially leaking sensitive event data into logs.

[Logging(LogEvent = true)]
public async Task<APIGatewayProxyResponse> FunctionHandler
         (APIGatewayProxyRequest apigProxyEvent, ILambdaContext context)
{
  ...
}

With logs available as structured JSON, you can perform searches on this structured data using CloudWatch Logs Insights. To search for all logs that were output during a Lambda cold start, and display the key fields in the output, run following query:

fields coldStart='true'
| fields @timestamp, function_name, function_version, xray_trace_id
| sort @timestamp desc
| limit 20
CloudWatch Logs Insights query for cold starts

CloudWatch Logs Insights query for cold starts

Tracing

Using the Tracing attribute, you can instruct the library to send traces and metadata from the Lambda function invocation to AWS X-Ray using the AWS X-Ray SDK for .NET. The tracing example shows you how to use the tracing feature.

When your application makes calls to AWS services, the SDK tracks downstream calls in subsegments. AWS services that support tracing, and resources that you access within those services, appear as downstream nodes on the service map in the X-Ray console.

You can instrument all of your AWS SDK for .NET clients by calling RegisterXRayForAllServices before you create them.

public class Function
{
  private static IDynamoDBContext _dynamoDbContext;
  public Function()
  {
    AWSSDKHandler.RegisterXRayForAllServices();
    ...
  }
  ...
}

To add the Powertools tracing library to your project, install the packages from NuGet gallery, from Visual Studio editor, or by using following .NET CLI command:

dotnet add package AWS.Lambda.Powertools.Tracing

Use environment variables in the Globals sections of the AWS SAM template to configure the tracing library.

  Globals:
    Function:
      Tracing: Active
      Environment:
        Variables:
          POWERTOOLS_SERVICE_NAME: powertools-dotnet-tracing-sample
          POWERTOOLS_TRACER_CAPTURE_RESPONSE: true
          POWERTOOLS_TRACER_CAPTURE_ERROR: true

Decorate the Lambda function handler method with the Tracing attribute to enable the utility. To provide more granular details for your traces, you can use the same attribute to capture the invocation of other functions outside of the handler. For example:

[Tracing]
public async Task<APIGatewayProxyResponse> FunctionHandler
         (APIGatewayProxyRequest apigProxyEvent, ILambdaContext context)
{
  ...
  var location = await GetCallingIp().ConfigureAwait(false);
  ...
}

[Tracing(SegmentName = "Location service")]
private static async Task<string?> GetCallingIp()
{
  ...
}

Once traffic is flowing, you see a generated service map in the AWS X-Ray console. Decorating the Lambda function handler method, or any other method in the chain with the Tracing attribute, provides an overview of all the traffic flowing through the application.

AWS X-Ray trace service view

AWS X-Ray trace service view

You can also view the individual traces that are generated, along with a waterfall view of the segments and subsegments that comprise your trace. This data can help you pinpoint the root cause of slow operations or errors within your application.

AWS X-Ray waterfall trace view

AWS X-Ray waterfall trace view

You can also filter traces by annotation and create custom service maps with AWS X-Ray Trace groups. In this example, use the filter expression annotation.ColdStart = true to filter traces based on the ColdStart annotation. The Tracing attribute adds these automatically when used within the handler method.

View trace attributes

View trace attributes

Metrics

CloudWatch offers a number of included metrics to help answer general questions about the application’s throughput, error rate, and resource utilization. However, to understand the behavior of the application better, you should also add custom metrics relevant to your workload.

The metrics utility creates custom metrics asynchronously by logging metrics to standard output using the Amazon CloudWatch Embedded Metric Format (EMF).

In the sample application, you want to understand how often your service is calling the location API to identify the IP addresses. The metrics example shows you how to use the metrics feature.

To add the Powertools metrics library to your project, install the packages from the NuGet gallery, from the Visual Studio editor, or by using the following .NET CLI command:

dotnet add package AWS.Lambda.Powertools.Metrics

Use environment variables in the Globals sections of the AWS SAM template to configure the metrics library:

  Globals:
    Function:
      Environment:
        Variables:
          POWERTOOLS_SERVICE_NAME: powertools-dotnet-metrics-sample
          POWERTOOLS_METRICS_NAMESPACE: AWSLambdaPowertools

To create custom metrics, decorate the Lambda function with the Metrics attribute. This ensures that all metrics are properly serialized and flushed to logs when the function finishes its invocation.

You can then emit custom metrics by calling AddMetric or push a single metric with a custom namespace, service and dimensions by calling PushSingleMetric. You can also enable the CaptureColdStart on the attribute to automatically create a cold start metric.

[Metrics(CaptureColdStart = true)]
public async Task<APIGatewayProxyResponse> FunctionHandler
         (APIGatewayProxyRequest apigProxyEvent, ILambdaContext context)
{
  ...
  // Add Metric to capture the amount of time
  Metrics.PushSingleMetric(
        metricName: "CallingIP",
        value: 1,
        unit: MetricUnit.Count,
        service: "lambda-powertools-metrics-example",
        defaultDimensions: new Dictionary<string, string>
        {
            { "Metric Type", "Single" }
        });
  ...
}

Conclusion

CloudWatch and AWS X-Ray offer functionality that provides comprehensive observability for your applications. Lambda Powertools .NET is now available in preview. The library helps implement observability when running Lambda functions based on .NET 6 while reducing the amount of custom code.

It simplifies implementing the observability best practices defined in the Serverless Applications Lens for the AWS Well-Architected Framework for a serverless application and allows you to focus more time on the business logic.

You can find the full documentation and the source code for Powertools in GitHub. We welcome contributions via pull request, and encourage you to create an issue if you have any feedback for the project. Happy building with AWS Lambda Powertools for .NET.

For more serverless learning resources, visit Serverless Land.

Week in Review – February 13, 2023

Post Syndicated from Sébastien Stormacq original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/week-in-review-february-13-2023/

AWS announced 32 capabilities since we published the last Week in Review blog post a week ago. I also read a couple of other news and blog posts.

Here is my summary.

The VPC section of the AWS Management Console now allows you to visualize your VPC resources, such as the relationships between a VPC and its subnets, routing tables, and gateways. This visualization was available at VPC creation time only, and now you can go back to it using the Resource Map tab in the console. You can read the details in Channy’s blog post.

CloudTrail Lake now gives you the ability to ingest activity events from non-AWS sources. This lets you immutably store and then process activity events without regard to their origin–AWS, on-premises servers, and so forth. All of this power is available to you with a single API call: PutAuditEvents. We launched AWS CloudTrail Lake about a year ago. It is a managed organization-scale data lake that aggregates, immutably stores, and allows querying of events recorded by CloudTrail. You can use it for auditing, security investigation, and troubleshooting. Again, my colleague Channy wrote a post with the details.

There are three new Amazon CloudWatch metrics for asynchronous AWS Lambda function invocations: AsyncEventsReceived, AsyncEventAge, and AsyncEventsDropped. These metrics provide visibility for asynchronous Lambda function invocations. They help you to identify the root cause of processing issues such as throttling, concurrency limit, function errors, processing latency because of retries, or missing events. You can learn more and have access to a sample application in this blog post.

Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) now supports AWS X-Ray to visualize, analyze, and debug applications. Developers can now trace messages going through Amazon SNS, making it easier to understand or debug microservices or serverless applications.

Amazon EC2 Mac instances now support replacing root volumes for quick instance restoration. Stopping and starting EC2 Mac instances trigger a scrubbing workflow that can take up to one hour to complete. Now you can swap the root volume of the instance with an EBS snapshot or an AMI. It helps to reset your instance to a previous known state in 10–15 minutes only. This significantly speeds up your CI and CD pipelines.

Amazon Polly launches two new Japanese NTTS voices. Neural Text To Speech (NTTS) produces the most natural and human-like text-to-speech voices possible. You can try these voices in the Polly section of the AWS Management Console. With this addition, according to my count, you can now choose among 52 NTTS voices in 28 languages or language variants (French from France or from Quebec, for example).

The AWS SDK for Java now includes the AWS CRT HTTP Client. The HTTP client is the center-piece powering our SDKs. Every single AWS API call triggers a network call to our API endpoints. It is therefore important to use a low-footprint and low-latency HTTP client library in our SDKs. AWS created a common HTTP client for all SDKs using the C programming language. We also offer 11 wrappers for 11 programming languages, from C++ to Swift. When you develop in Java, you now have the option to use this common HTTP client. It provides up to 76 percent cold start time reduction on AWS Lambda functions and up to 14 percent less memory usage compared to the Netty-based HTTP client provided by default. My colleague Zoe has more details in her blog post.

X in Y Jeff started this section a while ago to list the expansion of new services and capabilities to additional Regions. I noticed 10 Regional expansions this week:

Other AWS News
This week, I also noticed these AWS news items:

My colleague Mai-Lan shared some impressive customer stories and metrics related to the use and scale of Amazon S3 Glacier. Check it out to learn how to put your cold data to work.

Space is the final (edge) frontier. I read this blog post published on avionweek.com. It explains how AWS helps to deploy AIML models on observation satellites to analyze image quality before sending them to earth, saving up to 40 percent satellite bandwidth. Interestingly, the main cause for unusable satellite images is…clouds.

Upcoming AWS Events
Check your calendars and sign up for these AWS events:

AWS re:Invent recaps in your area. During the re:Invent week, we had lots of new announcements, and in the next weeks, you can find in your area a recap of all these launches. All the events are posted on this site, so check it regularly to find an event nearby.

AWS re:Invent keynotes, leadership sessions, and breakout sessions are available on demand. I recommend that you check the playlists and find the talks about your favorite topics in one collection.

AWS Summits season will restart in Q2 2023. The dates and locations will be announced here. Paris and Sidney are kicking off the season on April 4th. You can register today to attend these in-person, free events (Paris, Sidney).

Stay Informed
That was my selection for this week! To better keep up with all of this news, do not forget to check out the following resources:

— seb
This post is part of our Week in Review series. Check back each week for a quick roundup of interesting news and announcements from AWS!

Simplifying serverless best practices with AWS Lambda Powertools for TypeScript

Post Syndicated from Julian Wood original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/simplifying-serverless-best-practices-with-aws-lambda-powertools-for-typescript/

This blog post is written by Sara Gerion, Senior Solutions Architect.

Development teams must have a shared understanding of the workloads they own and their expected behaviors to deliver business value fast and with confidence. The AWS Well-Architected Framework and its Serverless Lens provide architectural best practices for designing and operating reliable, secure, efficient, and cost-effective systems in the AWS Cloud.

Developers should design and configure their workloads to emit information about their internal state and current status. This allows engineering teams to ask arbitrary questions about the health of their systems at any time. For example, emitting metrics, logs, and traces with useful contextual information enables situational awareness and allows developers to filter and select only what they need.

Following such practices reduces the number of bugs, accelerates remediation, and speeds up the application lifecycle into production. They can help mitigate deployment risks, offer more accurate production-readiness assessments and enable more informed decisions to deploy systems and changes.

AWS Lambda Powertools for TypeScript

AWS Lambda Powertools provides a suite of utilities for AWS Lambda functions to ease the adoption of serverless best practices. The AWS Hero Yan Cui’s initial implementation of DAZN Lambda Powertools inspired this idea.

Following the community’s adoption of AWS Lambda Powertools for Python and AWS Lambda Powertools for Java, we are excited to announce the general availability of the AWS Lambda Powertools for TypeScript.

AWS Lambda Powertools for TypeScript provides a suite of utilities for Node.js runtimes, which you can use in both JavaScript and TypeScript code bases. The library follows a modular approach similar to the AWS SDK v3 for JavaScript. Each utility is installed as standalone NPM package.

Today, the library is ready for production use with three observability features: distributed tracing (Tracer), structured logging (Logger), and asynchronous business and application metrics (Metrics).

You can instrument your code with Powertools in three different ways:

  • Manually. It provides the most granular control. It’s the most verbose approach, with the added benefit of no additional dependency and no refactoring to TypeScript Classes.
  • Middy middleware. It is the best choice if your existing code base relies on the Middy middleware engine. Powertools offers compatible Middy middleware to make this integration seamless.
  • Method decorator. Use TypeScript method decorators if you prefer writing your business logic using TypeScript Classes. If you aren’t using Classes, this requires the most significant refactoring.

The examples in this blog post use the Middy approach. To follow the examples, ensure that middy is installed:

npm i @middy/core

Logger

Logger provides an opinionated logger with output structured as JSON. Its key features include:

  • Capturing key fields from the Lambda context, cold starts, and structure logging output as JSON.
  • Logging Lambda invocation events when instructed (disabled by default).
  • Printing all the logs only for a percentage of invocations via log sampling (disabled by default).
  • Appending additional keys to structured logs at any point in time.
  • Providing a custom log formatter (Bring Your Own Formatter) to output logs in a structure compatible with your organization’s Logging RFC.

To install, run:

npm install @aws-lambda-powertools/logger

Usage example:

import { Logger, injectLambdaContext } from '@aws-lambda-powertools/logger';
 import middy from '@middy/core';

 const logger = new Logger({
    logLevel: 'INFO',
    serviceName: 'shopping-cart-api',
});

 const lambdaHandler = async (): Promise<void> => {
     logger.info('This is an INFO log with some context');
 };

 export const handler = middy(lambdaHandler)
     .use(injectLambdaContext(logger));

In Amazon CloudWatch, the structured log emitted by your application looks like:

{
     "cold_start": true,
     "function_arn": "arn:aws:lambda:eu-west-1:123456789012:function:shopping-cart-api-lambda-prod-eu-west-1",
     "function_memory_size": 128,
     "function_request_id": "c6af9ac6-7b61-11e6-9a41-93e812345678",
     "function_name": "shopping-cart-api-lambda-prod-eu-west-1",
     "level": "INFO",
     "message": "This is an INFO log with some context",
     "service": "shopping-cart-api",
     "timestamp": "2021-12-12T21:21:08.921Z",
     "xray_trace_id": "abcdef123456abcdef123456abcdef123456"
 }

Logs generated by Powertools can also be ingested and analyzed by any third-party SaaS vendor that supports JSON.

Tracer

Tracer is an opinionated thin wrapper for AWS X-Ray SDK for Node.js.

Its key features include:

  • Auto-capturing cold start and service name as annotations, and responses or full exceptions as metadata.
  • Automatically tracing HTTP(S) clients and generating segments for each request.
  • Supporting tracing functions via decorators, middleware, and manual instrumentation.
  • Supporting tracing AWS SDK v2 and v3 via AWS X-Ray SDK for Node.js.
  • Auto-disable tracing when not running in the Lambda environment.

To install, run:

npm install @aws-lambda-powertools/tracer

Usage example:

import { Tracer, captureLambdaHandler } from '@aws-lambda-powertools/tracer';
 import middy from '@middy/core'; 

 const tracer = new Tracer({
    serviceName: 'shopping-cart-api'
});

 const lambdaHandler = async (): Promise<void> => {
     /* ... Something happens ... */
 };

 export const handler = middy(lambdaHandler)
     .use(captureLambdaHandler(tracer));
AWS X-Ray segments and subsegments emitted by Powertools

AWS X-Ray segments and subsegments emitted by Powertools

Example service map generated with Powertools

Example service map generated with Powertools

Metrics

Metrics create custom metrics asynchronously by logging metrics to standard output following the Amazon CloudWatch Embedded Metric Format (EMF). These metrics can be visualized through CloudWatch dashboards or used to trigger alerts.

Its key features include:

  • Aggregating up to 100 metrics using a single CloudWatch EMF object (large JSON blob).
  • Validating your metrics against common metric definitions mistakes (for example, metric unit, values, max dimensions, max metrics).
  • Metrics are created asynchronously by the CloudWatch service. You do not need any custom stacks, and there is no impact to Lambda function latency.
  • Creating a one-off metric with different dimensions.

To install, run:

npm install @aws-lambda-powertools/metrics

Usage example:

import { Metrics, MetricUnits, logMetrics } from '@aws-lambda-powertools/metrics';
 import middy from '@middy/core';

 const metrics = new Metrics({
    namespace: 'serverlessAirline', 
    serviceName: 'orders'
});

 const lambdaHandler = async (): Promise<void> => {
     metrics.addMetric('successfulBooking', MetricUnits.Count, 1);
 };

 export const handler = middy(lambdaHandler)
     .use(logMetrics(metrics));

In CloudWatch, the custom metric emitted by your application looks like:

{
     "successfulBooking": 1.0,
     "_aws": {
     "Timestamp": 1592234975665,
     "CloudWatchMetrics": [
         {
         "Namespace": "serverlessAirline",
         "Dimensions": [
             [
             "service"
             ]
         ],
         "Metrics": [
             {
             "Name": "successfulBooking",
             "Unit": "Count"
             }
         ]
     },
     "service": "orders"
 }

Serverless TypeScript demo application

The Serverless TypeScript Demo shows how to use Lambda Powertools for TypeScript. You can find instructions on how to deploy and load test this application in the repository.

Serverless TypeScript Demo architecture

Serverless TypeScript Demo architecture

The code for the Get Products Lambda function shows how to use the utilities. The function is instrumented with Logger, Metrics and Tracer to emit observability data.

// blob/main/src/api/get-products.ts
import { APIGatewayProxyEvent, APIGatewayProxyResult} from "aws-lambda";
import { DynamoDbStore } from "../store/dynamodb/dynamodb-store";
import { ProductStore } from "../store/product-store";
import { logger, tracer, metrics } from "../powertools/utilities"
import middy from "@middy/core";
import { captureLambdaHandler } from '@aws-lambda-powertools/tracer';
import { injectLambdaContext } from '@aws-lambda-powertools/logger';
import { logMetrics, MetricUnits } from '@aws-lambda-powertools/metrics';

const store: ProductStore = new DynamoDbStore();
const lambdaHandler = async (event: APIGatewayProxyEvent): Promise<APIGatewayProxyResult> => {

  logger.appendKeys({
    resource_path: event.requestContext.resourcePath
  });

  try {
    const result = await store.getProducts();

    logger.info('Products retrieved', { details: { products: result } });
    metrics.addMetric('productsRetrieved', MetricUnits.Count, 1);

    return {
      statusCode: 200,
      headers: { "content-type": "application/json" },
      body: `{"products":${JSON.stringify(result)}}`,
    };
  } catch (error) {
      logger.error('Unexpected error occurred while trying to retrieve products', error as Error);

      return {
        statusCode: 500,
        headers: { "content-type": "application/json" },
        body: JSON.stringify(error),
      };
  }
};

const handler = middy(lambdaHandler)
    .use(captureLambdaHandler(tracer))
    .use(logMetrics(metrics, { captureColdStartMetric: true }))
    .use(injectLambdaContext(logger, { clearState: true, logEvent: true }));

export {
  handler
};

The Logger utility adds useful context to the application logs. Structuring your logs as JSON allows you to search on your structured data using Amazon CloudWatch Logs Insights. This allows you to filter out the information you don’t need.

For example, use the following query to search for any errors for the serverless-typescript-demo service.

fields resource_path, message, timestamp
| filter service = 'serverless-typescript-demo'
| filter level = 'ERROR'
| sort @timestamp desc
| limit 20
CloudWatch Logs Insights showing errors for the serverless-typescript-demo service.

CloudWatch Logs Insights showing errors for the serverless-typescript-demo service.

The Tracer utility adds custom annotations and metadata during the function invocation, which it sends to AWS X-Ray. Annotations allow you to search for and filter traces by business or application contextual information such as product ID, or cold start.

You can see the duration of the putProduct method and the ColdStart and Service annotations attached to the Lambda handler function.

putProduct trace view

putProduct trace view

The Metrics utility simplifies the creation of complex high-cardinality application data. Including structured data along with your metrics allows you to search or perform additional analysis when needed.

In this example, you can see how many times per second a product is created, deleted, or queried. You could configure alarms based on the metrics.

Metrics view

Metrics view

Code examples

You can use Powertools with many Infrastructure as Code or deployment tools. The project contains source code and supporting files for serverless applications that you can deploy with the AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK) or AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM).

The AWS CDK lets you build reliable and scalable applications in the cloud with the expressive power of a programming language, including TypeScript. The AWS SAM CLI is that makes it easier to create and manage serverless applications.

You can use the sample applications provided in the GitHub repository to understand how to use the library quickly and experiment in your own AWS environment.

Conclusion

AWS Lambda Powertools for TypeScript can help simplify, accelerate, and scale the adoption of serverless best practices within your team and across your organization.

The library implements best practices recommended as part of the AWS Well-Architected Framework, without you needing to write much custom code.

Since the library relieves the operational burden needed to implement these functionalities, you can focus on the features that matter the most, shortening the Software Development Life Cycle and reducing the Time To Market.

The library helps both individual developers and engineering teams to standardize their organizational best practices. Utilities are designed to be incrementally adoptable for customers at any stage of their serverless journey, from startup to enterprise.

To get started with AWS Lambda Powertools for TypeScript, see the official documentation. For more serverless learning resources, visit Serverless Land.

Use direct service integrations to optimize your architecture

Post Syndicated from Jerome Van Der Linden original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/use-direct-service-integrations-to-optimize-your-architecture/

When designing an application, you must integrate and combine several AWS services in the most optimized way for an effective and efficient architecture:

  • Optimize for performance by reducing the latency between services
  • Optimize for costs operability and sustainability, by avoiding unnecessary components and reducing workload footprint
  • Optimize for resiliency by removing potential point of failures
  • Optimize for security by minimizing the attack surface

As stated in the Serverless Application Lens of the Well-Architected Framework, “If your AWS Lambda function is not performing custom logic while integrating with other AWS services, chances are that it may be unnecessary.” In addition, Amazon API Gateway, AWS AppSync, AWS Step Functions, Amazon EventBridge, and Lambda Destinations can directly integrate with a number of services. These optimizations can offer you more value and less operational overhead.

This blog post will show how to optimize an architecture with direct integration.

Workflow example and initial architecture

Figure 1 shows a typical workflow for the creation of an online bank account. The customer fills out a registration form with personal information and adds a picture of their ID card. The application then validates ID and address, and scans if there is already an existing user by that name. If everything checks out, a backend application will be notified to create the account. Finally, the user is notified of successful completion.

Figure 1. Bank account application workflow

Figure 1. Bank account application workflow

The workflow architecture is shown in Figure 2 (click on the picture to get full resolution).

Figure 2. Initial account creation architecture

Figure 2. Initial account creation architecture

This architecture contains 13 Lambda functions. If you look at the code on GitHub, you can see that:

Five of these Lambda functions are basic and perform simple operations:

Additional Lambda functions perform other tasks, such as verification and validation:

  • One function generates a presigned URL to upload ID card pictures to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3)
  • One function uses the Amazon Textract API to extract information from the ID card
  • One function verifies the identity of the user against the information extracted from the ID card
  • One function performs simple HTTP request to a third-party API to validate the address

Finally, four functions concern the websocket (connect, message, and disconnect) and notifications to the user.

Opportunities for improvement

If you further analyze the code of the five basic functions (see startWorkflow on GitHub, for example), you will notice that there are actually three lines of fundamental code that start the workflow. The others 38 lines involve imports, input validation, error handling, logging, and tracing. Remember that all this code must be tested and maintained.

import os
import json
import boto3
from aws_lambda_powertools import Tracer
from aws_lambda_powertools import Logger
import re

logger = Logger()
tracer = Tracer()

sfn = boto3.client('stepfunctions')

PATTERN = re.compile(r"^arn:(aws[a-zA-Z-]*)?:states:[a-z]{2}((-gov)|(-iso(b?)))?-[a-z]+-\d{1}:\d{12}:stateMachine:[a-zA-Z0-9-_]+$")

if ('STATE_MACHINE_ARN' not in os.environ
    or os.environ['STATE_MACHINE_ARN'] is None
    or not PATTERN.match(os.environ['STATE_MACHINE_ARN'])):
    raise RuntimeError('STATE_MACHINE_ARN env var is not set or incorrect')

STATE_MACHINE_ARN = os.environ['STATE_MACHINE_ARN']

@logger.inject_lambda_context
@tracer.capture_lambda_handler
def handler(event, context):
    try:
        event['requestId'] = context.aws_request_id

        sfn.start_execution(
            stateMachineArn=STATE_MACHINE_ARN,
            input=json.dumps(event)
        )

        return {
            'requestId': event['requestId']
        }
    except Exception as error:
        logger.exception(error)
        raise RuntimeError('Internal Error - cannot start the creation workflow') from error

After running this workflow several times and reviewing the AWS X-Ray traces (Figure 3), we can see that it takes about 2–3 seconds when functions are warmed:

Figure 3. X-Ray traces when Lambda functions are warmed

Figure 3. X-Ray traces when Lambda functions are warmed

But the process takes around 10 seconds with cold starts, as shown in Figure 4:

Figure 4. X-Ray traces when Lambda functions are cold

Figure 4. X-Ray traces when Lambda functions are cold

We use an asynchronous architecture to avoid waiting time for the user, as this can be a long process. We also use WebSockets to notify the user when it’s finished. This adds some complexity, new components, and additional costs to the architecture. Now let’s look at how we can optimize this architecture.

Improving the initial architecture

Direct integration with Step Functions

Step Functions can directly integrate with some AWS services, including DynamoDB, Amazon SQS, and EventBridge, and more than 10,000 APIs from 200+ AWS services. With these integrations, you can replace Lambda functions when they do not provide value. We recommend using Lambda functions to transform data, not to transport data from one service to another.

In our bank account creation use case, there are four Lambda functions we can replace with direct service integrations (see large arrows in Figure 5):

  • Query a DynamoDB table to search for a user
  • Send a message to an SQS queue when the extraction fails
  • Create the user in DynamoDB
  • Send an event on EventBridge to notify the backend
Figure 5. Lambda functions that can be replaced

Figure 5. Lambda functions that can be replaced

It is not as clear that we need to replace the other Lambda functions. Here are some considerations:

  • To extract information from the ID card, we use Amazon Textract. It is available through the SDK integration in Step Functions. However, the API’s response provides too much information. We recommend using a library such as amazon-textract-response-parser to parse the result. For this, you’ll need a Lambda function.
  • The identity cross-check performs a simple comparison between the data provided in the web form and the one extracted in the ID card. We can perform this comparison in Step Functions using a Choice state and several conditions. If the business logic becomes more complex, consider using a Lambda function.
  • To validate the address, we query a third-party API. Step Functions cannot directly call a third-party HTTP endpoint, but because it’s integrated with API Gateway, we can create a proxy for this endpoint.

If you only need to retrieve data from an API or make a simple API call, use the direct integration. If you need to implement some logic, use a Lambda function.

Direct integration with API Gateway

API Gateway also provides service integrations. In particular, we can start the workflow without using a Lambda function. In the console, select the integration type “AWS Service”, the AWS service “Step Functions”, the action “StartExecution”, and “POST” method, as shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6. API Gateway direct integration with Step Functions

Figure 6. API Gateway direct integration with Step Functions

After that, use a mapping template in the integration request to define the parameters as shown here:

{
  "stateMachineArn":"arn:aws:states:eu-central-1:123456789012:stateMachine: accountCreationWorkflow",
  "input":"$util.escapeJavaScript($input.json('$'))"
}

We can go further and remove the websockets and associated Lambda functions connect, message, and disconnect. By using Synchronous Express Workflows and the StartSyncExecution API, we can start the workflow and wait for the result in a synchronous fashion. API Gateway will then directly return the result of the workflow to the client.

Final optimized architecture

After applying these optimizations, we have the updated architecture shown in Figure 7. It uses only two Lambda functions out of the initial 13. The rest have been replaced by direct service integrations or implemented in Step Functions.

Figure 7. Final optimized architecture

Figure 7. Final optimized architecture

We were able to remove 11 Lambda functions and their associated fees. In this architecture, the cost is mainly driven by Step Functions, and the main price difference will be your use of Express Workflows instead of Standard Workflows. If you need to keep some Lambda functions, use AWS Lambda Power Tuning to configure your function correctly and benefit from the best price/performance ratio.

One of the main benefits of this architecture is performance. With the final workflow architecture, it now takes about 1.5 seconds when the Lambda function is warmed and 3 seconds on cold starts (versus up to 10 seconds previously), see Figure 8:

Figure 8. X-Ray traces for the final architecture

Figure 8. X-Ray traces for the final architecture

The process can now be synchronous. It reduces the complexity of the architecture and vastly improves the user experience.

An added benefit is that by reducing the overall complexity and removing the unnecessary Lambda functions, we have also reduced the risk of failures. These can be errors in the code, memory or timeout issues due to bad configuration, lack of permissions, network issues between components, and more. This increases the resiliency of the application and eases its maintenance.

Testing

Testability is an important consideration when building your workflow. Unit testing a Lambda function is straightforward, and you can use your preferred testing framework and validate methods. Adopting a hexagonal architecture also helps remove dependencies to the cloud.

When removing functions and using an approach with direct service integrations, you are by definition directly connected to the cloud. You still must verify that the overall process is working as expected, and validate these integrations.

You can achieve this kind of tests locally using Step Functions Local, and the recently announced Mocked Service Integrations. By mocking service integrations, for example, retrieving an item in DynamoDB, you can validate the different paths of your state machine.

You also have to perform integration tests, but this is true whether you use direct integrations or Lambda functions.

Conclusion

This post describes how to simplify your architecture and optimize for performance, resiliency, and cost by using direct integrations in Step Functions and API Gateway. Although many Lambda functions were reduced, some remain useful for handling more complex business logic and data transformation. Try this out now by visiting the GitHub repository.

For further reading:

AWS Week in Review – May 9, 2022

Post Syndicated from Danilo Poccia original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-week-in-review-may-9-2022/

This post is part of our Week in Review series. Check back each week for a quick roundup of interesting news and announcements from AWS!

Another week starts, and here’s a collection of the most significant AWS news from the previous seven days. This week is also the one-year anniversary of CloudFront Functions. It’s exciting to see what customers have built during this first year.

Last Week’s Launches
Here are some launches that caught my attention last week:

Amazon RDS supports PostgreSQL 14 with three levels of cascaded read replicas – That’s 5 replicas per instance, supporting a maximum of 155 read replicas per source instance with up to 30X more read capacity. You can now build a more robust disaster recovery architecture with the capability to create Single-AZ or Multi-AZ cascaded read replica DB instances in same or cross Region.

Amazon RDS on AWS Outposts storage auto scalingAWS Outposts extends AWS infrastructure, services, APIs, and tools to virtually any datacenter. With Amazon RDS on AWS Outposts, you can deploy managed DB instances in your on-premises environments. Now, you can turn on storage auto scaling when you create or modify DB instances by selecting a checkbox and specifying the maximum database storage size.

Amazon CodeGuru Reviewer suppression of files and folders in code reviews – With CodeGuru Reviewer, you can use automated reasoning and machine learning to detect potential code defects that are difficult to find and get suggestions for improvements. Now, you can prevent CodeGuru Reviewer from generating unwanted findings on certain files like test files, autogenerated files, or files that have not been recently updated.

Amazon EKS console now supports all standard Kubernetes resources to simplify cluster management – To make it easy to visualize and troubleshoot your applications, you can now use the console to see all standard Kubernetes API resource types (such as service resources, configuration and storage resources, authorization resources, policy resources, and more) running on your Amazon EKS cluster. More info in the blog post Introducing Kubernetes Resource View in Amazon EKS console.

AWS AppConfig feature flag Lambda Extension support for Arm/Graviton2 processors – Using AWS AppConfig, you can create feature flags or other dynamic configuration and safely deploy updates. The AWS AppConfig Lambda Extension allows you to access this feature flag and dynamic configuration data in your Lambda functions. You can now use the AWS AppConfig Lambda Extension from Lambda functions using the Arm/Graviton2 architecture.

AWS Serverless Application Model (SAM) CLI now supports enabling AWS X-Ray tracing – With the AWS SAM CLI you can initialize, build, package, test on local and cloud, and deploy serverless applications. With AWS X-Ray, you have an end-to-end view of requests as they travel through your application, making them easier to monitor and troubleshoot. Now, you can enable tracing by simply adding a flag to the sam init command.

Amazon Kinesis Video Streams image extraction – With Amazon Kinesis Video Streams you can capture, process, and store media streams. Now, you can also request images via API calls or configure automatic image generation based on metadata tags in ingested video. For example, you can use this to generate thumbnails for playback applications or to have more data for your machine learning pipelines.

AWS GameKit supports Android, iOS, and MacOS games developed with Unreal Engine – With AWS GameKit, you can build AWS-powered game features directly from the Unreal Editor with just a few clicks. Now, the AWS GameKit plugin for Unreal Engine supports building games for the Win64, MacOS, Android, and iOS platforms.

For a full list of AWS announcements, be sure to keep an eye on the What’s New at AWS page.

Other AWS News
Some other updates you might have missed:

🎂 One-year anniversary of CloudFront Functions – I can’t believe it’s been one year since we launched CloudFront Functions. Now, we have tens of thousands of developers actively using CloudFront Functions, with trillions of invocations per month. You can use CloudFront Functions for HTTP header manipulation, URL rewrites and redirects, cache key manipulations/normalization, access authorization, and more. See some examples in this repo. Let’s see what customers built with CloudFront Functions:

  • CloudFront Functions enables Formula 1 to authenticate users with more than 500K requests per second. The solution is using CloudFront Functions to evaluate if users have access to view the race livestream by validating a token in the request.
  • Cloudinary is a media management company that helps its customers deliver content such as videos and images to users worldwide. For them, [email protected] remains an excellent solution for applications that require heavy compute operations, but lightweight operations that require high scalability can now be run using CloudFront Functions. With CloudFront Functions, Cloudinary and its customers are seeing significantly increased performance. For example, one of Cloudinary’s customers began using CloudFront Functions, and in about two weeks it was seeing 20–30 percent better response times. The customer also estimates that they will see 75 percent cost savings.
  • Based in Japan, DigitalCube is a web hosting provider for WordPress websites. Previously, DigitalCube spent several hours completing each of its update deployments. Now, they can deploy updates across thousands of distributions quickly. Using CloudFront Functions, they’ve reduced update deployment times from 4 hours to 2 minutes. In addition, faster updates and less maintenance work result in better quality throughout DigitalCube’s offerings. It’s now easier for them to test on AWS because they can run tests that affect thousands of distributions without having to scale internally or introduce downtime.
  • Amazon.com is using CloudFront Functions to change the way it delivers static assets to customers globally. CloudFront Functions allows them to experiment with hyper-personalization at scale and optimal latency performance. They have been working closely with the CloudFront team during product development, and they like how it is easy to create, test, and deploy custom code and implement business logic at the edge.

AWS open-source news and updates – A newsletter curated by my colleague Ricardo to bring you the latest open-source projects, posts, events, and more. Read the latest edition here.

Reduce log-storage costs by automating retention settings in Amazon CloudWatch – By default, CloudWatch Logs stores your log data indefinitely. This blog post shows how you can reduce log-storage costs by establishing a log-retention policy and applying it across all of your log groups.

Observability for AWS App Runner VPC networking – With X-Ray support in App runner, you can quickly deploy web applications and APIs at any scale and take advantage of adding tracing without having to manage sidecars or agents. Here’s an example of how you can instrument your applications with the AWS Distro for OpenTelemetry (ADOT).

Upcoming AWS Events
It’s AWS Summits season and here are some virtual and in-person events that might be close to you:

You can now register for re:MARS to get fresh ideas on topics such as machine learning, automation, robotics, and space. The conference will be in person in Las Vegas, June 21–24.

That’s all from me for this week. Come back next Monday for another Week in Review!

Danilo

Monitoring and tuning federated GraphQL performance on AWS Lambda

Post Syndicated from James Beswick original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/monitoring-and-tuning-federated-graphql-performance-on-aws-lambda/

This post is written by Krzysztof Lis, Senior Software Development Engineer, IMDb.

Our federated GraphQL at IMDb distributes requests across 19 subgraphs (graphlets). To ensure reliability for customers, IMDb monitors availability and performance across the whole stack. This article focuses on this challenge and concludes a 3-part federated GraphQL series:

  • Part 1 presents the migration from a monolithic REST API to a federated GraphQL (GQL) endpoint running on AWS Lambda.
  • Part 2 describes schema management in federated GQL systems.

This presents an approach towards performance tuning. It compares graphlets with the same logic and different runtime (for example, Java and Node.js) and shows best practices for AWS Lambda tuning.

The post describes IMDb’s test strategy that emphasizes the areas of ownership for the Gateway and Graphlet teams. In contrast to the legacy monolithic system described in part 1, the federated GQL gateway does not own any business logic. Consequently, the gateway integration tests focus solely on platform features, leaving the resolver logic entirely up to the graphlets.

Monitoring and alarming

Efficient monitoring of a distributed system requires you to track requests across all components. To correlate service issues with issues in the gateway or other services, you must pass and log the common request ID.

Capture both error and latency metrics for every network call. In Lambda, you cannot send a response to the client until all work for that request is complete. As a result, this can add latency to a request.

The recommended way to capture metrics is Amazon CloudWatch embedded metric format (EMF). This scales with Lambda and helps avoid throttling by the Amazon CloudWatch PutMetrics API. You can also search and analyze your metrics and logs more easily using CloudWatch Logs Insights.

Lambda configured timeouts emit a Lambda invocation error metric, which can make it harder to separate timeouts from errors thrown during invocation. By specifying a timeout in-code, you can emit a custom metric to alarm on to treat timeouts differently from unexpected errors. With EMF, you can flush metrics before timing out in code, unlike the Lambda-configured timeout.

Running out of memory in a Lambda function also appears as a timeout. Use CloudWatch Insights to see if there are Lambda invocations that are exceeding the memory limits.

You can enable AWS X-Ray tracing for Lambda with a small configuration change to enable tracing. You can also trace components like SDK calls or custom sub segments.

Gateway integration tests

The Gateway team wants tests to be independent from the underlying data served by the graphlets. At the same time, they must test platform features provided by the Gateway – such as graphlet caching.

To simulate the real gateway-graphlet integration, IMDb uses a synthetic test graphlet that serves mock data. Given the graphlet’s simplicity, this reduces the risk of unreliable graphlet data. We can run tests asserting only platform features with the assumption of stable and functional, improving confidence that failing tests indicate issues with the platform itself.

This approach helps to reduce false positives in pipeline blockages and improves the continuous delivery rate. The gateway integration tests are run against the exposed endpoint (for example, a content delivery network) or by invoking the gateway Lambda function directly and passing the appropriate payload.

The former approach allows you to detect potential issues with the infrastructure setup. This is useful when you use infrastructure as code (IaC) tools like AWS CDK. The latter further narrows down the target of the tests to the gateway logic, which may be appropriate if you have extensive infrastructure monitoring and testing already in place.

Graphlet integration tests

The Graphlet team focuses only on graphlet-specific features. This usually means the resolver logic for the graph fields they own in the overall graph. All the platform features – including query federation and graphlet response caching – are already tested by the Gateway Team.

The best way to test the specific graphlet is to run the test suite by directly invoking the Lambda function. If there is any issue with the gateway itself, it does cause a false-positive failure for the graphlet team.

Load tests

It’s important to determine the maximum traffic volume your system can handle before releasing to production. Before the initial launch and before any high traffic events (for example, the Oscars or Golden Globes), IMDb conducts thorough load testing of our systems.

To perform meaningful load testing, the workload captures traffic logs to IMDb pages. We later replay the real customer traffic at the desired transaction-per-second (TPS) volume. This ensures that our tests approximate real-life usage. It reduces the risk of skewing test results due to over-caching and disproportionate graphlet usage. Vegeta is an example of a tool you can use to run the load test against your endpoint.

Canary tests

Canary testing can also help ensure high availability of an endpoint. The canary produces the traffic. This is a configurable script that runs on a schedule. You configure the canary script to follow the same routes and perform the same actions as a user, which allows you to continually verify the user experience even without live traffic.

Canaries should emit success and failure metrics that you can alarm on. For example, if a canary runs 100 times per minute and the success rate drops below 90% in three consecutive data points, you may choose to notify a technician about a potential issue.

Compared with integration tests, canary tests run continuously and do not require any code changes to trigger. They can be a useful tool to detect issues that are introduced outside the code change. For example, through manual resource modification in the AWS Management Console or an upstream service outage.

Performance tuning

There is a per-account limit on the number of concurrent Lambda invocations shared across all Lambda functions in a single account. You can help to manage concurrency by separating high-volume Lambda functions into different AWS accounts. If there is a traffic surge to any one of the Lambda functions, this isolates the concurrency used to a single AWS account.

Lambda compute power is controlled by the memory setting. With more memory comes more CPU. Even if a function does not require much memory, you can adjust this parameter to get more CPU power and improve processing time.

When serving real-time traffic, Provisioned Concurrency in Lambda functions can help to avoid cold start latency. (Note that you should use max, not average for your auto scaling metric to keep it more responsive for traffic increases.) For Java functions, code in static blocks is run before the function is invoked. Provisioned Concurrency is different to reserved concurrency, which sets a concurrency limit on the function and throttles invocations above the hard limit.

Use the maximum number of concurrent executions in a load test to determine the account concurrency limit for high-volume Lambda functions. Also, configure a CloudWatch alarm for when you are nearing the concurrency limit for the AWS account.

There are concurrency limits and burst limits for Lambda function scaling. Both are per-account limits. When there is a traffic surge, Lambda creates new instances to handle the traffic. “Burst limit = 3000” means that the first 3000 instances can be obtained at a much faster rate (invocations increase exponentially). The remaining instances are obtained at a linear rate of 500 per minute until reaching the concurrency limit.

An alternative way of thinking this is that the rate at which concurrency can increase is 500 per minute with a burst pool of 3000. The burst limit is fixed, but the concurrency limit can be increased by requesting a quota increase.

You can further reduce cold start latency by removing unused dependencies, selecting lightweight libraries for your project, and favoring compile-time over runtime dependency injection.

Impact of Lambda runtime on performance

Choice of runtime impacts the overall function performance. We migrated a graphlet from Java to Node.js with complete feature parity. The following graph shows the performance comparison between the two:

Performance graph

To illustrate the performance difference, the graph compares the slowest latencies for Node.js and Java – the P80 latency for Node.js was lower than the minimal latency we recorded for Java.

Conclusion

There are multiple factors to consider when tuning a federated GQL system. You must be aware of trade-offs when deciding on factors like the runtime environment of Lambda functions.

An extensive testing strategy can help you scale systems and narrow down issues quickly. Well-defined testing can also keep pipelines clean of false-positive blockages.

Using CloudWatch EMF helps to avoid PutMetrics API throttling and allows you to run CloudWatch Logs Insights queries against metric data.

For more serverless learning resources, visit Serverless Land.

Operating serverless at scale: Implementing governance – Part 1

Post Syndicated from James Beswick original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/operating-serverless-at-scale-implementing-governance-part-1/

This post is written by Jerome Van Der Linden, Solutions Architect.

With serverless services, infrastructure management tasks like capacity provisioning and patching are handled by AWS, so you can focus on writing code and deliver value to your customers. By reducing operational overhead, developers can iterate faster and release new features more often.

But with increased agility and productivity, you must also keep control. When scaling to thousands of AWS Lambda functions, hundreds of AWS Step Functions workflows, and millions of Amazon EventBridge events sent throughout the company, you must maintain visibility. What is provisioned, what is running, and how does everything work as a whole?

This three-part series covers important topics to help you maintain control over a growing set of serverless resources.

Maintaining visibility on resources and workloads

For governance, the first recommendation is to have clear visibility of your environment:

  • Visibility on resources: APIs, Lambda functions, state machines, event buses, queues, or topics. It is essential to have an up-to-date inventory of all your resources together with metadata such as the application it belongs to, the environment where it is deployed, and the owner. This is needed to track cost, manage compliance and evaluate risks.
  • Visibility on how these resources are linked together. They may be components of the same application. You must track who is calling who (in synchronous calls) or who is consuming what message or event from whom (in asynchronous calls). This dynamic view is as necessary as the inventory. It gives you important insight on the architecture and potential security and compliance issues.

This visibility into your AWS environment is essential to understand what you do with it and be able to operate it. It allows you to understand your workloads and make sure they follow your compliance rules. It allows you to track your usage of AWS and potentially optimize and reduce your costs. This is a best practice for building and growing on AWS.

Tagging your resources

For all resources on AWS, assign tags to your resources. A tag consists in a label (the key) and an optional value. It makes it easier to organize, search for, and filter resources by application, environment, or other criteria. Tags can serve different purposes: automation, access control, cost allocation, risk management. Above all, they provide an additional layer of information you can use to understand why each resource exists.

Assigning tags during provisioning is the preferred method. Using the AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM), you can define tags. For example, for a Lambda function:

AWSTemplateFormatVersion: '2010-09-09'
Transform: AWS::Serverless-2016-10-31

Resources:
  MyFunction:
    Type: AWS::Serverless::Function
    Properties:
      CodeUri: function/
      Handler: app.lambda_handler
      Runtime: python3.8
      Tags:
        mycompany:environment: "dev"
        mycompany:application-id: "ecommerce"
        mycompany:service-id: "products"
        mycompany:business-owner: "[email protected]"

As the number of resources increases in a template, you can use the --tags option of the sam deploy command. This applies a set of tags to all compatible resources declared in the template:

sam deploy \
--tags mycompany:environment=dev \
mycompany:application-id=ecommerce \
mycompany:service-id=products \
mycompany:[email protected]

You can also add these tags in the samconfig.toml file so you don’t need to specify them each time on the command line:

tags = "mycompany:environment=dev mycompany:application-id=ecommerce mycompany:service-id=products mycompany:[email protected]"

Enforcing consistency in tags

To maintain organization, tags must be consistent. For example, do you use “environment“, ”Environment“ or ”env“? And is the value ”dev“, ”Dev“ or ”Development“?

  1. Define which tags are necessary and what do you need to identify: the owner, the application, the environment, the business line, etc. You can have up to 50 tags per resource but you should restrict yourself to a set of needed tags and iterate. Apply the YAGNI principle to minimize maintenance.
  2. Agree on the syntax. You may use spinal-case (lower case with hyphens to separate words) and a prefix to identify your company. For example, mycompany:application-id. Having a tag dictionary shared with developers and administrators may be useful. See this guide for best practices.
  3. Enforce the “rules” that are established:
    • At the Organization level, use Service Control Policies to block the creation of a resource if not correctly tagged. The following example denies the creation of Lambda functions when the environment tag is absent. You can find more examples here. Before applying, test policies in a sandbox:
      {
         "Sid": "DenyCreateLambdaWithNoEnvironmentTag",
         "Effect": "Deny",
         "Action": "lambda:CreateFunction",
         "Resource": [
            "arn:aws:lambda:*:*:function/*"
         ],
         "Condition": {
            "Null": {
                "aws:RequestTag/environment": "true"
             }
          }
      }
      
    • Use Config Rules in AWS Config to verify that resources have the appropriate tags (see this example for Lambda). You can also perform remediation if necessary.
    • Use Tag Policies to enforce consistency across your accounts and resources. Tag Policies verify the syntax and values set on your resources. They mark as non-compliant all the resources that do not match the policies. For example, the following policy defines the tag “environment“ and its possible values:
      {
          "tags": {
              "mycompany:environment": {
                  "tag_value": {
                      "@@assign": [
                          "dev",
                          "test",
                          "qa",
                          "prod"
                      ]
                  }
              }
          }
      }
      

4. Monitor the percentage of resources untagged or badly tagged and try to improve. Also iterate on your tag dictionary as your requirements evolve by adding new tags or removing unused ones.

Applying tags on serverless resources

For serverless resources, there are additional tags you may add:

  • For an API or a microservice, you may want to know if it is public (B2C), semi-public (B2B) or private (internal). This can help you adjust the RTO and the level of support. You can add a tag “exposition” with a value “public” or “private” to your API Gateway and Lambda functions.
  • For an API or a microservice again, you may want to know the route from where traffic is coming. For a Lambda function, use the tag “route” with a value like “POST /products”, “GET /products/_id_” (“{}” are not valid characters for tags).
  • For Lambda functions, add sources (triggers) and destinations within tags. For example, add the SNS topic name or SQS queue name to a “trigger” or “destination” tag. This helps document the dependencies between resources and have a better view of the architecture.

Adding more tags increases maintenance, and unmaintained tags can be misleading. Add tags if you really need them and if you can automate their maintenance. For example with AWS CloudFormation or AWS SAM, or using scripts or scheduled Lambda functions (using propagate-cfn-tags for example).

Grouping related resources

In addition to tags, use resource groups to better organize resources, by creating groups of related resources. For example, you can consolidate a set of Lambda functions and APIs for a microservice, or more globally a set of components related to the same application.

If you already created tagged resources, you can create a resource group based on these tags, using the following command. This example groups all supported resources that are tagged with the tag “mycompany:service-id” and value “products”:

aws resource-groups create-group \
--name products-service \
--resource-query '{"Type":"TAG_FILTERS_1_0","Query":"{\"ResourceTypeFilters\":[\"AWS::AllSupported\"],\"TagFilters\":[{\"Key\":\"mycompany:service-id\",\"Values\":[\"products\"]}]}"}'

If you use infrastructure as code (AWS CloudFormation or AWS SAM), which is the recommended approach, you can have a resource group created for a complete stack. This is convenient for serverless applications with a reasonable number of related resources:

Resources:
  ResourceGroup:
    Type: AWS::ResourceGroups::Group
    Properties:
      Name: products-service

With a group defined, visualize the list of its resources in the AWS Management Console or using the following CLI command:

aws resource-groups list-group-resources --group products-service

For more details on resource groups, read this blog post.

Getting a dynamic view of your resources

Tags and resource groups give you a static and declarative view of your resources and their relations. To know what is running, and how everything is linked, it is also important to have a dynamic view. It is the best representation of your environment but since it is often documentation-based and rarely automated, it quickly becomes inaccurate and outdated.

Using AWS X-Ray, you can trace requests made from one resource to another, and thus have a complete map of interactions between components of your application. Combine it with Amazon CloudWatch Logs and metrics and you have Amazon CloudWatch ServiceLens.

The primary use case for ServiceLens is to help you debug and troubleshoot performance issues. But you can also use the Service Map to gain visibility into your applications. What are the components that make up your application? What are the transactions and dependencies between those components?

AWS X-Ray ServiceLens

To obtain such a map, you must enable X-Ray tracing in your application for all supported resources. This can be done in the AWS SAM template by enabling “tracing”:

Resources:
  MyFunction:
    Type: AWS::Serverless::Function
    Properties:
      CodeUri: function/
      Handler: app.lambda_handler
      Runtime:python3.8
      Tracing: Active
      
  MyApi:
    Type: AWS::Serverless::Api
    Properties:
      DefinitionBody:
        Fn::Transform:
          Name: "AWS::Include"
          Parameters:
            Location: "resources/openapi.yaml"
      EndpointConfiguration: REGIONAL
      StageName: prod
      TracingEnabled: true
      
  MyStateMachine:
    Type: AWS::Serverless::StateMachine
    Properties:
      DefinitionUri: statemachine/my_state_machine.asl.json
      Role: arn:aws:iam::123456123456:role/service-role/my-sample-role
      Tracing:
        Enabled: True

You may also need to instrument your Lambda function code using the X-Ray SDK, to retrieve and propagate traces when using services like Amazon SNS, Amazon SQS or Amazon EventBridge.

When this is done, open the CloudWatch ServiceLens console to get the dynamic view of all your components. See their respective size (based on the number of requests they handle), their relations, and the services they use. As it is based on the real execution of your application, it is always up to date.

Conclusion

Having visibility on your AWS resources is the key to operating and growing successfully. In this first part of this series on serverless governance, I describe how you can get this visibility by using tags to organize and group your resources, and ease the search and management of related resources. I also describe how AWS X-Ray, combined with CloudWatch ServiceLens, can provide a dynamic view of workloads and help you understand how serverless resources are acting together.

The second part will focus on provisioning and how to standardize deployments to improve consistency and compliance.

Read this whitepaper on tagging best practices to get more details on tags.

For more serverless learning resources, visit Serverless Land.

Build Your Own Game Day to Support Operational Resilience

Post Syndicated from Lewis Taylor original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/build-your-own-game-day-to-support-operational-resilience/

Operational resilience is your firm’s ability to provide continuous service through people, processes, and technology that are aware of and adaptive to constant change. Downtime of your mission-critical applications can not only damage your reputation, but can also make you liable to multi-million-dollar financial fines.

One way to test operational resilience is to simulate life-like system failures. An effective way to do this is by running events in your organization known as game days. Game days test systems, processes, and team responses and help evaluate your readiness to react and recover from operational issues. The AWS Well-Architected Framework recommends game days as a key strategy to develop and operate highly resilient systems because they focus not only on technology resilience issues but identify people and process gaps.

This blog post will explain how you can apply game day concepts to your workloads to help achieve a highly resilient workload.

Why does operational resilience matter from a regulatory perspective?

In March 2021, the Bank of England, Prudential Regulation Authority, and Financial Conduct Authority published their Building operational resilience: Feedback to CP19/32 and final rules policy. In this policy, operational resilience refers to a firm’s ability to prevent, adapt, and respond to and return to a steady system state when a disruption occurs. Further, firms are expected to learn and implement process improvements from prior disruptions.

This policy will not apply to everyone. However, across the board if you don’t establish operational resilience strategies, you are likely operating at an increased risk. If you have a service disruption, you may incur lost revenue and reputational damage.

What does it mean to be operationally resilient?

The final policy provides guidance on how firms should achieve operational resilience, which includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Identify and prioritize services based on the potential of intolerable harm to end consumers or risk to market integrity.
  • Define appropriate maximum impact tolerance of an important business service. This is reviewed annually using metrics to measure impact tolerance and answers questions like, “How long (in hours) can a service be offline before causing intolerable harm to end consumers?”
  • Document a complete view of all the aspects required to deliver each important service. This includes people, processes, technology, facilities, and information (resources). Firms should also test their ability to remain within the impact tolerances and provide assurance of resilience along with areas that need to be addressed.

What is a game day?

The AWS Well-Architected Framework defines a game day as follows:

“A game day simulates a failure or event to test systems, processes, and team responses. The purpose is to actually perform the actions the team would perform as if an exceptional event happened. These should be conducted regularly so that your team builds “muscle memory” on how to respond. Your game days should cover the areas of operations, security, reliability, performance, and cost.

In AWS, your game days can be carried out with replicas of your production environment using AWS CloudFormation. This enables you to test in a safe environment that resembles your production environment closely.”

Running game days that simulate system failure helps your organization evaluate and build operational resilience.

How can game days help build operational resilience?

Running a game day alone is not sufficient to ensure operational resilience. However, by navigating the following process to set up and perform a game day, you will establish a best practice-based approach for operating resilient systems.

Stage 1 – Identify key services

As part of setting up a game day event, you will catalog and identify business-critical services.

Game days are performed to test services where operational failure could result in significant financial, customer, and/or reputational impact to the firm. Game days can also evaluate other key factors, like the impact of a failure on the wider market where your firm operates.

For example, a firm may identify its digital banking mobile application from which their customers can initiate payments as one of its important business services.

Stage 2 – Map people, process, and technology supporting the business service

Game days are holistic events. To get a full picture of how the different aspects of your workload operate together, you’ll generate a detailed map of people and processes as they interact and operate the technical and non-technical components of the system. This mapping also helps your end consumers understand how you will provide them reliable support during a failure.

Stage 3 – Define and perform failure scenarios

Systems fail, and failures often happen when a system is operating at scale because various services working together can introduce complexity. To ensure operational resilience, you must understand how systems react and adapt to failures. To do this, you’ll identify and perform failure scenarios so you can understand how your systems will react and adapt and build “muscle memory” for actual events.

AWS builds to guard against outages and incidents, and accounts for them in the design of AWS services—so when disruptions do occur, their impact on customers and the continuity of services is as minimal as possible. At AWS, we employ compartmentalization throughout our infrastructure and services. We have multiple constructs that provide different levels of independent, redundant components.

Stage 4 – Observe and document people, process, and technology reactions

In running a failure scenario, you’ll observe how technological and non-technological components react to and recover from failure. This helps you identify failures and fix them as they cascade through impacted components across your workload. This also helps identify technical and operational challenges that might not otherwise be obvious.

Stage 5 – Conduct lessons learned exercises

Game days generate information on people, processes, and technology and also capture data on customer impact, incident response and remediation timelines, contributing factors, and corrective actions. By incorporating these data points into the system design process, you can implement continuous resilience for critical systems.

How to run your own game day in AWS

You may have heard of AWS GameDay events. This is an AWS organized event for our customers. In this team-based event, AWS provides temporary AWS accounts running fictional systems. Failures are injected into these systems and teams work together on completing challenges and improving the system architecture.

However, the method and tooling and principles we use to conduct AWS GameDays are agnostic and can be applied to your systems using the following services:

  • AWS Fault Injection Simulator is a fully managed service that runs fault injection experiments on AWS, which makes it easier to improve an application’s performance, observability, and resiliency.
  • Amazon CloudWatch is a monitoring and observability service that provides you with data and actionable insights to monitor your applications, respond to system-wide performance changes, optimize resource utilization, and get a unified view of operational health.
  • AWS X-Ray helps you analyze and debug production and distributed applications (such as those built using a microservices architecture). X-Ray helps you understand how your application and its underlying services are performing to identify and troubleshoot the root cause of performance issues and errors.

Please note you are not limited to the tools listed for simulating failure scenarios. For complete coverage of failure scenarios, we encourage you to explore additional tools and strategies.

Figure 1 shows a reference architecture example that demonstrates conducting a game day for an Open Banking implementation.

Game day reference architecture example

Figure 1. Game day reference architecture example

Game day operators use Fault Injection Simulator to catalog and perform failure scenarios to be included in your game day. For example, in our Open Banking use case in Figure 1, a failure scenario might be for the business API functions servicing Open Banking requests to abruptly stop working. You can also combine such simple failure scenarios into a more complex one with failures injected across multiple components of the architecture.

Game day participants use CloudWatch, X-Ray, and their own custom observability and monitoring tooling to identify failures as they cascade through systems.

As you go through the process of identifying, communicating, and fixing issues, you’ll also document impact of failures on end-users. From there, you’ll generate lessons learned to holistically improve your workload’s resilience.

Conclusion

In this blog, we discussed the significance of ensuring operational resilience. We demonstrated how to set up game days and how they can supplement your efforts to ensure operational resilience. We discussed how using AWS services such as Fault Injection Simulator, X-Ray, and CloudWatch can be used to facilitate and implement game day failure scenarios.

Ready to get started? For more information, check out our AWS Fault Injection Simulator User Guide.

Related information:

17 additional AWS services authorized for DoD workloads in the AWS GovCloud Regions

Post Syndicated from Tyler Harding original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/17-additional-aws-services-authorized-for-dod-workloads-in-the-aws-govcloud-regions/

I’m pleased to announce that the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has authorized 17 additional Amazon Web Services (AWS) services and features in the AWS GovCloud (US) Regions, bringing the total to 105 services and major features that are authorized for use by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). AWS now offers additional services to DoD mission owners in these categories: business applications; computing; containers; cost management; developer tools; management and governance; media services; security, identity, and compliance; and storage.

Why does authorization matter?

DISA authorization of 17 new cloud services enables mission owners to build secure innovative solutions to include systems that process unclassified national security data (for example, Impact Level 5). DISA’s authorization demonstrates that AWS effectively implemented more than 421 security controls by using applicable criteria from NIST SP 800-53 Revision 4, the US General Services Administration’s FedRAMP High baseline, and the DoD Cloud Computing Security Requirements Guide.

Recently authorized AWS services at DoD Impact Levels (IL) 4 and 5 include the following:

Business Applications

Compute

Containers

Cost Management

  • AWS Budgets – Set custom budgets to track your cost and usage, from the simplest to the most complex use cases
  • AWS Cost Explorer – An interface that lets you visualize, understand, and manage your AWS costs and usage over time
  • AWS Cost & Usage Report – Itemize usage at the account or organization level by product code, usage type, and operation

Developer Tools

  • AWS CodePipeline – Automate continuous delivery pipelines for fast and reliable updates
  • AWS X-Ray – Analyze and debug production and distributed applications, such as those built using a microservices architecture

Management & Governance

Media Services

  • Amazon Textract – Extract printed text, handwriting, and data from virtually any document

Security, Identity & Compliance

  • Amazon Cognito – Secure user sign-up, sign-in, and access control
  • AWS Security Hub – Centrally view and manage security alerts and automate security checks

Storage

  • AWS Backup – Centrally manage and automate backups across AWS services

Figure 1 shows the IL 4 and IL 5 AWS services that are now authorized for DoD workloads, broken out into functional categories.
 

Figure 1: The AWS services newly authorized by DISA

Figure 1: The AWS services newly authorized by DISA

To learn more about AWS solutions for the DoD, see our AWS solution offerings. Follow the AWS Security Blog for updates on our Services in Scope by Compliance Program. If you have feedback about this blog post, let us know in the Comments section below.

Want more AWS Security how-to content, news, and feature announcements? Follow us on Twitter.

Author

Tyler Harding

Tyler is the DoD Compliance Program Manager for AWS Security Assurance. He has over 20 years of experience providing information security solutions to the federal civilian, DoD, and intelligence agencies.

Building well-architected serverless applications: Optimizing application performance – part 1

Post Syndicated from Julian Wood original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/building-well-architected-serverless-applications-optimizing-application-performance-part-1/

This series of blog posts uses the AWS Well-Architected Tool with the Serverless Lens to help customers build and operate applications using best practices. In each post, I address the serverless-specific questions identified by the Serverless Lens along with the recommended best practices. See the introduction post for a table of contents and explanation of the example application.

PERF 1. Optimizing your serverless application’s performance

Evaluate and optimize your serverless application’s performance based on access patterns, scaling mechanisms, and native integrations. This allows you to continuously gain more value per transaction. You can improve your overall experience and make more efficient use of the platform in terms of both value and resources.

Good practice: Measure and optimize function startup time

Evaluate your AWS Lambda function startup time for both performance and cost.

Take advantage of execution environment reuse to improve the performance of your function.

Lambda invokes your function in a secure and isolated runtime environment, and manages the resources required to run your function. When a function is first invoked, the Lambda service creates an instance of the function to process the event. This is called a cold start. After completion, the function remains available for a period of time to process subsequent events. These are called warm starts.

Lambda functions must contain a handler method in your code that processes events. During a cold start, Lambda runs the function initialization code, which is the code outside the handler, and then runs the handler code. During a warm start, Lambda runs the handler code.

Lambda function cold and warm starts

Lambda function cold and warm starts

Initialize SDK clients, objects, and database connections outside of the function handler so that they are started during the cold start process. These connections then remain during subsequent warm starts, which improves function performance and cost.

Lambda provides a writable local file system available at /tmp. This is local to each function but shared between subsequent invocations within the same execution environment. You can download and cache assets locally in the /tmp folder during the cold start. This data is then available locally by all subsequent warm start invocations, improving performance.

In the serverless airline example used in this series, the confirm booking Lambda function initializes a number of components during the cold start. These include the Lambda Powertools utilities and creating a session to the Amazon DynamoDB table BOOKING_TABLE_NAME.

import boto3
from aws_lambda_powertools import Logger, Metrics, Tracer
from aws_lambda_powertools.metrics import MetricUnit
from botocore.exceptions import ClientError

logger = Logger()
tracer = Tracer()
metrics = Metrics()

session = boto3.Session()
dynamodb = session.resource("dynamodb")
table_name = os.getenv("BOOKING_TABLE_NAME", "undefined")
table = dynamodb.Table(table_name)

Analyze and improve startup time

There are a number of steps you can take to measure and optimize Lambda function initialization time.

You can view the function cold start initialization time using Amazon CloudWatch Logs and AWS X-Ray. A log REPORT line for a cold start includes the Init Duration value. This is the time the initialization code takes to run before the handler.

CloudWatch Logs cold start report line

CloudWatch Logs cold start report line

When X-Ray tracing is enabled for a function, the trace includes the Initialization segment.

X-Ray trace cold start showing initialization segment

X-Ray trace cold start showing initialization segment

A subsequent warm start REPORT line does not include the Init Duration value, and is not present in the X-Ray trace:

CloudWatch Logs warm start report line

CloudWatch Logs warm start report line

X-Ray trace warm start without showing initialization segment

X-Ray trace warm start without showing initialization segment

CloudWatch Logs Insights allows you to search and analyze CloudWatch Logs data over multiple log groups. There are some useful searches to understand cold starts.

Understand cold start percentage over time:

filter @type = "REPORT"
| stats
  sum(strcontains(
    @message,
    "Init Duration"))
  / count(*)
  * 100
  as coldStartPercentage,
  avg(@duration)
  by bin(5m)
Cold start percentage over time

Cold start percentage over time

Cold start count and InitDuration:

filter @type="REPORT" 
| fields @memorySize / 1000000 as memorySize
| filter @message like /(?i)(Init Duration)/
| parse @message /^REPORT.*Init Duration: (?<initDuration>.*) ms.*/
| parse @log /^.*\/aws\/lambda\/(?<functionName>.*)/
| stats count() as coldStarts, median(initDuration) as avgInitDuration, max(initDuration) as maxInitDuration by functionName, memorySize
Cold start count and InitDuration

Cold start count and InitDuration

Once you have measured cold start performance, there are a number of ways to optimize startup time. For Python, you can use the PYTHONPROFILEIMPORTTIME=1 environment variable.

PYTHONPROFILEIMPORTTIME environment variable

PYTHONPROFILEIMPORTTIME environment variable

This shows how long each package import takes to help you understand how packages impact startup time.

Python import time

Python import time

Previously, for the AWS Node.js SDK, you enabled HTTP keep-alive in your code to maintain TCP connections. Enabling keep-alive allows you to avoid setting up a new TCP connection for every request. Since AWS SDK version 2.463.0, you can also set the Lambda function environment variable AWS_NODEJS_CONNECTION_REUSE_ENABLED=1 to make the SDK reuse connections by default.

You can configure Lambda’s provisioned concurrency feature to pre-initialize a requested number of execution environments. This runs the cold start initialization code so that they are prepared to respond immediately to your function’s invocations.

Use Amazon RDS Proxy to pool and share database connections to improve function performance. For additional options for using RDS with Lambda, see the AWS Serverless Hero blog post “How To: Manage RDS Connections from AWS Lambda Serverless Functions”.

Choose frameworks that load quickly on function initialization startup. For example, prefer simpler Java dependency injection frameworks like Dagger or Guice over more complex framework such as Spring. When using the AWS SDK for Java, there are some cold start performance optimization suggestions in the documentation. For further Java performance optimization tips, see the AWS re:Invent session, “Best practices for AWS Lambda and Java”.

To minimize deployment packages, choose lightweight web frameworks optimized for Lambda. For example, use MiddyJS, Lambda API JS, and Python Chalice over Node.js Express, Python Django or Flask.

If your function has many objects and connections, consider splitting the function into multiple, specialized functions. These are individually smaller and have less initialization code. I cover designing smaller, single purpose functions from a security perspective in “Managing application security boundaries – part 2”.

Minimize your deployment package size to only its runtime necessities

Smaller functions also allow you to separate functionality. Only import the libraries and dependencies that are necessary for your application processing. Use code bundling when you can to reduce the impact of file system lookup calls. This also includes deployment package size.

For example, if you only use Amazon DynamoDB in the AWS SDK, instead of importing the entire SDK, you can import an individual service. Compare the following three examples as shown in the Lambda Operator Guide:

// Instead of const AWS = require('aws-sdk'), use: +
const DynamoDB = require('aws-sdk/clients/dynamodb')

// Instead of const AWSXRay = require('aws-xray-sdk'), use: +
const AWSXRay = require('aws-xray-sdk-core')

// Instead of const AWS = AWSXRay.captureAWS(require('aws-sdk')), use: +
const dynamodb = new DynamoDB.DocumentClient() +
AWSXRay.captureAWSClient(dynamodb.service)

In testing, importing the DynamoDB library instead of the entire AWS SDK was 125 ms faster. Importing the X-Ray core library was 5 ms faster than the X-Ray SDK. Similarly, when wrapping a service initialization, preparing a DocumentClient before wrapping showed a 140-ms gain. Version 3 of the AWS SDK for JavaScript supports modular imports, which can further help reduce unused dependencies.

For additional options when for optimizing AWS Node.js SDK imports, see the AWS Serverless Hero blog post.

Conclusion

Evaluate and optimize your serverless application’s performance based on access patterns, scaling mechanisms, and native integrations. You can improve your overall experience and make more efficient use of the platform in terms of both value and resources.

In this post, I cover measuring and optimizing function startup time. I explain cold and warm starts and how to reuse the Lambda execution environment to improve performance. I show a number of ways to analyze and optimize the initialization startup time. I explain how only importing necessary libraries and dependencies increases application performance.

This well-architected question will be continued is part 2 where I look at designing your function to take advantage of concurrency via asynchronous and stream-based invocations. I cover measuring, evaluating, and selecting optimal capacity units.

For more serverless learning resources, visit Serverless Land.

Choosing a CI/CD approach: AWS Services with BigHat Biosciences

Post Syndicated from Mike Apted original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/devops/choosing-ci-cd-aws-services-bighat-biosciences/

Founded in 2019, BigHat Biosciences’ mission is to improve human health by reimagining antibody discovery and engineering to create better antibodies faster. Their integrated computational + experimental approach speeds up antibody design and discovery by combining high-speed molecular characterization with machine learning technologies to guide the search for better antibodies. They apply these design capabilities to develop new generations of safer and more effective treatments for patients suffering from today’s most challenging diseases. Their platform, from wet lab robots to cloud-based data and logistics plane, is woven together with rapidly changing BigHat-proprietary software. BigHat uses continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) throughout their data engineering workflows and when training and evaluating their machine learning (ML) models.

 

BigHat Biosciences Logo

 

In a previous post, we discussed the key considerations when choosing a CI/CD approach. In this post, we explore BigHat’s decisions and motivations in adopting managed AWS CI/CD services. You may find that your organization has commonalities with BigHat and some of their insights may apply to you. Throughout the post, considerations are informed and choices are guided by the best practices in the AWS Well-Architected Framework.

How did BigHat decide what they needed?

Making decisions on appropriate (CI/CD) solutions requires understanding the characteristics of your organization, the environment you operate in, and your current priorities and goals.

“As a company designing therapeutics for patients rather than software, the role of technology at BigHat is to enable a radically better approach to develop therapeutic molecules,” says Eddie Abrams, VP of Engineering at BigHat. “We need to automate as much as possible. We need the speed, agility, reliability and reproducibility of fully automated infrastructure to enable our company to solve complex problems with maximum scientific rigor while integrating best in class data analysis. Our engineering-first approach supports that.”

BigHat possesses a unique insight to an unsolved problem. As an early stage startup, their core focus is optimizing the fully integrated platform that they built from the ground-up to guide the design for better molecules. They respond to feedback from partners and learn from their own internal experimentation. With each iteration, the quality of what they’re creating improves, and they gain greater insight and improved models to support the next iteration. More than anything, they need to be able to iterate rapidly. They don’t need any additional complexity that would distract from their mission. They need uncomplicated and enabling solutions.

They also have to take into consideration the regulatory requirements that apply to them as a company, the data they work with and its security requirements; and the market segment they compete in. Although they don’t control these factors, they can control how they respond to them, and they want to be able to respond quickly. It’s not only speed that matters in designing for security and compliance, but also visibility and track-ability. These often overlooked and critical considerations are instrumental in choosing a CI/CD strategy and platform.

“The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage,” says Cindy Alvarez in her book Lean Customer Development.

The tighter the feedback loop, the easier it is to make a change. Rapid iteration allows BigHat to easily build upon what works, and make adjustments as they identify avenues that won’t lead to success.

Feature set

CI/CD is applicable to more than just the traditional use case. It doesn’t have to be software delivered in a classic fashion. In the case of BigHat, they apply CI/CD in their data engineering workflows and in training their ML models. BigHat uses automated solutions in all aspects of their workflow. Automation further supports taking what they have created internally and enabling advances in antibody design and development for safer, more effective treatments of conditions.

“We see a broadening of the notion of what can come under CI/CD,” says Abrams. “We use automated solutions wherever possible including robotics to perform scaled assays. The goal in tightening the loop is to improve precision and speed, and reduce latency and lag time.”

BigHat reached the conclusion that they would adopt managed service offerings wherever possible, including in their CI/CD tooling and other automation initiatives.

“The phrase ‘undifferentiated heavy lifting’ has always resonated,” says Abrams. “Building, scaling, and operating core software and infrastructure are hard problems, but solving them isn’t itself a differentiating advantage for a therapeutics company. But whether we can automate that infrastructure, and how we can use that infrastructure at scale on a rock solid control plane to provide our custom solutions iteratively, reliably and efficiently absolutely does give us an edge. We need an end-to-end, complete infrastructure solution that doesn’t force us to integrate a patchwork of solutions ourselves. AWS provides exactly what we need in this regard.”

Reducing risk

Startups can be full of risk, with the upside being potential future reward. They face risk in finding the right problem, in finding a solution to that problem, and in finding a viable customer base to buy that solution.

A key priority for early stage startups is removing risk from as many areas of the business as possible. Any steps an early stage startup can take to remove risk without commensurately limiting reward makes them more viable. The more risk a startup can drive out of their hypothesis the more likely their success, in part because they’re more attractive to customers, employees, and investors alike. The more likely their product solves their problem, the more willing a customer is to give it a chance. Likewise, the more attractive they are to investors when compared to alternative startups with greater risk in reaching their next major milestone.

Adoption of managed services for CI/CD accomplishes this goal in several ways. The most important advantage remains speed. The core functionality required can be stood up very quickly, as it’s an existing service. Customers have a large body of reference examples and documentation available to demonstrate how to use that service. They also insulate teams from the need to configure and then operate the underlying infrastructure. The team remains focused on their differentiation and their core value proposition.

“We are automated right up to the organizational level and because of this, running those services ourselves represents operational risk,” says Abrams. “The largest day-to-day infrastructure risk to us is having the business stalled while something is not working. Do I want to operate these services, and focus my staff on that? There is no guarantee I can just throw more compute at a self-managed software service I’m running and make it scale effectively. There is no guarantee that if one datacenter is having a network or electrical problem that I can simply switch to another datacenter. I prefer AWS manages those scale and uptime problems.”

Embracing an opinionated model

BigHat is a startup with a singular focus on using ML to reduce the time and difficulty of designing antibodies and other therapeutic proteins. By adopting managed services, they have removed the burden of implementing and maintaining CI/CD systems.

Accepting the opinionated guardrails of the managed service approach allows, and to a degree reinforces, the focus on what makes a startup unique. Rather than being focused on performance tuning, making decisions on what OS version to use, or which of the myriad optional puzzle pieces to put together, they can use a well-integrated set of tools built to work with each other in a defined fashion.

The opinionated model means best practices are baked into the toolchain. Instead of hiring for specialized administration skills they’re hiring for specialized biotech skills.

“The only degrees of freedom I care about are the ones that improve our technologies and reduce the time, cost, and risk of bringing a therapeutic to market,” says Abrams. “We focus on exactly where we can gain operational advantages by simply adopting managed services that already embrace the Well-Architected Framework. If we had to tackle all of these engineering needs with limited resources, we would be spending into a solved problem. Before AWS, startups just didn’t do these sorts of things very well. Offloading this effort to a trusted partner is pretty liberating.”

Beyond the reduction in operational concerns, BigHat can also expect continuous improvement of that service over time to be delivered automatically by the provider. For their use case they will likely derive more benefit for less cost over time without any investment required.

Overview of solution

BigHat uses the following key services:

 

BigHat Reference Architecture

Security

Managed services are supported, owned and operated by the provider . This allows BigHat to leave concerns like patching and security of the underlying infrastructure and services to the provider. BigHat continues to maintain ownership in the shared responsibility model, but their scope of concern is significantly narrowed. The surface area the’re responsible for is reduced, helping to minimize risk. Choosing a partner with best in class observability, tracking, compliance and auditing tools is critical to any company that manages sensitive data.

Cost advantages

A startup must also make strategic decisions about where to deploy the capital they have raised from their investors. The vendor managed services bring a model focused on consumption, and allow the startup to make decisions about where they want to spend. This is often referred to as an operational expense (OpEx) model, in other words “pay as you go”, like a utility. This is in contrast to a large upfront investment in both time and capital to build these tools. The lack of need for extensive engineering efforts to stand up these tools, and continued investment to evolve them, acts as a form of capital expenditure (CapEx) avoidance. Startups can allocate their capital where it matters most for them.

“This is corporate-level changing stuff,” says Abrams. “We engage in a weekly leadership review of cost budgets. Operationally I can set the spending knob where I want it monthly, weekly or even daily, and avoid the risks involved in traditional capacity provisioning.”

The right tool for the right time

A key consideration for BigHat was the ability to extend the provider managed tools, where needed, to incorporate extended functionality from the ecosystem. This allows for additional functionality that isn’t covered by the core managed services, while maintaining a focus on their product development versus operating these tools.

Startups must also ask themselves what they need now, versus what they need in the future. As their needs change and grow, they can augment, extend, and replace the tools they have chosen to meet the new requirements. Starting with a vendor-managed service is not a one-way door; it’s an opportunity to defer investment in building and operating these capabilities yourself until that investment is justified. The time to value in using managed services initially doesn’t leave a startup with a sunk cost that limits future options.

“You have to think about the degree you want to adopt a hybrid model for the services you run. Today we aren’t running any software or services that require us to run our own compute instances. It’s very rare we run into something that is hard to do using just the services AWS already provides. Where our needs are not met, we can communicate them to AWS and we can choose to wait for them on their roadmap, which we have done in several cases, or we can elect to do it ourselves,” says Abrams. “This freedom to tweak and expand our service model at will is incomparably liberating.”

Conclusion

BigHat Biosciences was able to make an informed decision by considering the priorities of the business at this stage of its lifecycle. They adopted and embraced opinionated and service provider-managed tooling, which allowed them to inherit a largely best practice set of technology and practices, de-risk their operations, and focus on product velocity and customer feedback. This maintains future flexibility, which delivers significantly more value to the business in its current stage.

“We believe that the underlying engineering, the underlying automation story, is an advantage that applies to every aspect of what we do for our customers,” says Abrams. “By taking those advantages into every aspect of the business, we deliver on operations in a way that provides a competitive advantage a lot of other companies miss by not thinking about it this way.”

About the authors

Mike is a Principal Solutions Architect with the Startup Team at Amazon Web Services. He is a former founder, current mentor, and enjoys helping startups live their best cloud life.

 

 

 

Sean is a Senior Startup Solutions Architect at AWS. Before AWS, he was Director of Scientific Computing at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Using AWS X-Ray tracing with Amazon EventBridge

Post Syndicated from James Beswick original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/using-aws-x-ray-tracing-with-amazon-eventbridge/

AWS X-Ray allows developers to debug and analyze distributed applications. It can be useful for tracing transactions through microservices architectures, such as those typically used in serverless applications. Amazon EventBridge allows you to route events between AWS services, integrated software as a service (SaaS) applications, and your own applications. EventBridge can help decouple applications and produce more extensible, maintainable architectures.

EventBridge now supports trace context propagation for X-Ray, which makes it easier to trace transactions through event-based architectures. This means you can potentially trace a single request from an event producer through to final processing by an event consumer. These may be decoupled application stacks where the consumer has no knowledge of how the event is produced.

This blog post explores how to use X-Ray with EventBridge and shows how to implement tracing using the example application in this GitHub repo.

How it works

X-Ray works by adding a trace header to requests, which acts as a unique identifier. In the case of a serverless application using multiple AWS services, this allows X-Ray to group service interactions together as a single trace. X-Ray can then produce a service map of the transaction flow or provide the raw data for a trace:

X-Ray service map

When you send events to EventBridge, the service uses rules to determine how the events are routed from the event bus to targets. Any event that is put on an event bus with the PutEvents API can now support trace context propagation.

The trace header is provided as internal metadata to support X-Ray tracing. The header itself is not available in the event when it’s delivered to a target. For developers using the EventBridge archive feature, this means that a trace ID is not available for replay. Similarly, it’s not available on events sent to a dead-letter queue (DLQ).

Enabling tracing with EventBridge

To enable tracing, you don’t need to change the event structure to add the trace header. Instead, you wrap the AWS SDK client in a call to AWSXRay.captureAWSClient and grant IAM permissions to allow tracing. This enables X-Ray to instrument the call automatically with the X-Amzn-Trace-Id header.

For code using the AWS SDK for JavaScript, this requires changes to the way that the EventBridge client is instantiated. Without tracing, you declare the AWS SDK and EventBridge client with:

const AWS = require('aws-sdk')
const eventBridge = new AWS.EventBridge()

To use tracing, this becomes:

const AWSXRay = require('aws-xray-sdk')
const AWS = AWSXRay.captureAWS(require('aws-sdk'))
const eventBridge = new AWS.EventBridge()

The interaction with the EventBridge client remains the same but the calls are now instrumented by X-Ray. Events are put on the event bus programmatically using a PutEvents API call. In a Node.js Lambda function, the following code processes an event to send to an event bus, with tracing enabled:

const AWSXRay = require('aws-xray-sdk')
const AWS = AWSXRay.captureAWS(require('aws-sdk'))
const eventBridge = new AWS.EventBridge()

exports.handler = async (event) => {

  let myDetail = { "name": "Alice" }

  const myEvent = { 
    Entries: [{
      Detail: JSON.stringify({ myDetail }),
      DetailType: 'myDetailType',
      Source: 'myApplication',
      Time: new Date
    }]
  }

  // Send to EventBridge
  const result = await eventBridge.putEvents(myEvent).promise()

  // Log the result
  console.log('Result: ', JSON.stringify(result, null, 2))
}

You can also define a custom tracing header using the new TraceHeader attribute on the PutEventsRequestEntry API model. The unique value you provide overrides any trace header on the HTTP header. The value is also validated by X-Ray and discarded if it does not pass validation. See the X-Ray Developer Guide to learn about generating valid trace headers.

Deploying the example application

The example application consists of a webhook microservice that publishes events and target microservices that consume events. The generated event contains a target attribute to determine which target receives the event:

Example application architecture

To deploy these microservices, you must have the AWS SAM CLI and Node.js 12.x installed. to To complete the deployment, follow the instructions in the GitHub repo.

EventBridge can route events to a broad range of target services in AWS. Targets that support active tracing for X-Ray can create comprehensive traces from the event source. The services offering active tracing are AWS Lambda, AWS Step Functions, and Amazon API Gateway. In each case, you can trace a request from the producer to the consumer of the event.

The GitHub repo contains examples showing how to use active tracing with EventBridge targets. The webhook application uses a query string parameter called target to determine which events are routed to these targets.

For X-Ray to detect each service in the webhook, tracing must be enabled on both the API Gateway stage and the Lambda function. In the AWS SAM template, the Tracing: Active property turns on active tracing for the Lambda function. If an IAM role is not specified, the AWS SAM CLI automatically adds the arn:aws:iam::aws:policy/AWSXrayWriteOnlyAccess policy to the Lambda function’s execution role. For the API definition, adding TracingEnabled: True enables tracing for this API stage.

When you invoke the webhook’s API endpoint, X-Ray generates a trace map of the request, showing each of the services from the REST API call to putting the event on the bus:

X-Ray trace map with EventBridge

The CloudWatch Logs from the webhook’s Lambda function shows the event that has been put on the event bus:

CloudWatch Logs from a webhook

Tracing with a Lambda target

In the targets-lambda example application, the Lambda function uses the X-Ray SDK and has active tracing enabled in the AWS SAM template:

Resources:
  ConsumerFunction:
    Type: AWS::Serverless::Function
    Properties:
      CodeUri: src/
      Handler: app.handler
      MemorySize: 128
      Timeout: 3
      Runtime: nodejs12.x
      Tracing: Active

With these two changes, the target Lambda function propagates the tracing header from the original webhook request. When the webhook API is invoked, the X-Ray trace map shows the entire request through to the Lambda target. X-Ray shows two nodes for Lambda – one is the Lambda service and the other is the Lambda function invocation:

Downstream service node in service map

Tracing with an API Gateway target

Currently, active tracing is only supported by REST APIs but not HTTP APIs. You can enable X-Ray tracing from the AWS CLI or from the Stages menu in the API Gateway console, in the Logs/Tracing tab:

Enable X-Ray tracing in API Gateway

You cannot currently create an API Gateway target for EventBridge using AWS SAM. To invoke an API endpoint from the EventBridge console, create a rule and select the API as a target. The console automatically creates the necessary IAM permissions for EventBridge to invoke the endpoint.

Setting API Gateway as an EventBridge target

If the API invokes downstream services with active tracing available, these services also appear as nodes in the X-Ray service graph. Using the webhook application to invoke the API Gateway target, the trace shows the entire request from the initial API call through to the second API target:

API Gateway node in X-Ray service map

Tracing with a Step Functions target

To enable tracing for a Step Functions target, the state machine must have tracing enabled and have permissions to write to X-Ray. The AWS SAM template can enable tracing, define the EventBridge rule and the AWSXRayDaemonWriteAccess policy in one resource:

  WorkFlowStepFunctions:
    Type: AWS::Serverless::StateMachine
    Properties:
      DefinitionUri: definition.asl.json
      DefinitionSubstitutions:
        LoggerFunctionArn: !GetAtt LoggerFunction.Arn
      Tracing:
        Enabled: True
      Events:
        UploadComplete:
          Type: EventBridgeRule
          Properties:
            Pattern:
              account: 
                - !Sub '${AWS::AccountId}'
              source:
                - !Ref EventSource
              detail:
                apiEvent:
                  target:
                    - 'sfn'

      Policies: 
        - AWSXRayDaemonWriteAccess
        - LambdaInvokePolicy:
            FunctionName: !Ref LoggerFunction

If the state machine uses services that support active tracing, these also appear in the trace map for individual requests. Using the webhook to invoke this target, X-Ray now shows the request trace to the state machine and the Lambda function it contains:

Step Functions in X-Ray service map

Adding X-Ray tracing to existing Lambda targets

To wrap the SDK client, you must enable active tracing and include the AWS X-Ray SDK in the Lambda function’s deployment package. Unlike the AWS SDK, the X-Ray SDK is not included in the Lambda execution environment.

Another option is to include the X-Ray SDK as a Lambda layer. You can build this layer by following the instructions in the GitHub repo. Once deployed, you can attach the X-Ray layer to any Lambda function either via the console or the CLI:

Adding X-Ray tracing a Lambda function

To learn more about using Lambda layers, read “Using Lambda layers to simplify your development process”.

Conclusion

X-Ray is a powerful tool for providing observability in serverless applications. With the launch of X-Ray trace context propagation in EventBridge, this allows you to trace requests across distributed applications more easily.

In this blog post, I walk through an example webhook application with three targets that support active tracing. In each case, I show how to enable tracing either via the console or using AWS SAM and show the resulting X-Ray trace map.

To learn more about how to use tracing with events, read the X-Ray Developer Guide or see the Amazon EventBridge documentation for this feature.

For more serverless learning resources, visit Serverless Land.

ICYMI: Serverless Q4 2020

Post Syndicated from James Beswick original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/icymi-serverless-q4-2020/

Welcome to the 12th edition of the AWS Serverless ICYMI (in case you missed it) quarterly recap. Every quarter, we share all of the most recent product launches, feature enhancements, blog posts, webinars, Twitch live streams, and other interesting things that you might have missed!

ICYMI Q4 calendar

In case you missed our last ICYMI, check out what happened last quarter here.

AWS re:Invent

re:Invent 2020 banner

re:Invent was entirely virtual in 2020 and free to all attendees. The conference had a record number of registrants and featured over 700 sessions. The serverless developer advocacy team presented a number of talks to help developers build their skills. These are now available on-demand:

AWS Lambda

There were three major Lambda announcements at re:Invent. Lambda duration billing changed granularity from 100 ms to 1 ms, which is shown in the December billing statement. All functions benefit from this change automatically, and it’s especially beneficial for sub-100ms Lambda functions.

Lambda has also increased the maximum memory available to 10 GB. Since memory also controls CPU allocation in Lambda, this means that functions now have up to 6 vCPU cores available for processing. Finally, Lambda now supports container images as a packaging format, enabling teams to use familiar container tooling, such as Docker CLI. Container images are stored in Amazon ECR.

There were three feature releases that make it easier for developers working on data processing workloads. Lambda now supports self-hosted Kafka as an event source, allowing you to source events from on-premises or instance-based Kafka clusters. You can also process streaming analytics with tumbling windows and use custom checkpoints for processing batches with failed messages.

We launched Lambda Extensions in preview, enabling you to more easily integrate monitoring, security, and governance tools into Lambda functions. You can also build your own extensions that run code during Lambda lifecycle events. See this example extensions repo for starting development.

You can now send logs from Lambda functions to custom destinations by using Lambda Extensions and the new Lambda Logs API. Previously, you could only forward logs after they were written to Amazon CloudWatch Logs. Now, logging tools can receive log streams directly from the Lambda execution environment. This makes it easier to use your preferred tools for log management and analysis, including Datadog, Lumigo, New Relic, Coralogix, Honeycomb, or Sumo Logic.

Lambda Logs API architecture

Lambda launched support for Amazon MQ as an event source. Amazon MQ is a managed broker service for Apache ActiveMQ that simplifies deploying and scaling queues. The event source operates in a similar way to using Amazon SQS or Amazon Kinesis. In all cases, the Lambda service manages an internal poller to invoke the target Lambda function.

Lambda announced support for AWS PrivateLink. This allows you to invoke Lambda functions from a VPC without traversing the public internet. It provides private connectivity between your VPCs and AWS services. By using VPC endpoints to access the Lambda API from your VPC, this can replace the need for an Internet Gateway or NAT Gateway.

For developers building machine learning inferencing, media processing, high performance computing (HPC), scientific simulations, and financial modeling in Lambda, you can now use AVX2 support to help reduce duration and lower cost. In this blog post’s example, enabling AVX2 for an image-processing function increased performance by 32-43%.

Lambda now supports batch windows of up to 5 minutes when using SQS as an event source. This is useful for workloads that are not time-sensitive, allowing developers to reduce the number of Lambda invocations from queues. Additionally, the batch size has been increased from 10 to 10,000. This is now the same batch size as Kinesis as an event source, helping Lambda-based applications process more data per invocation.

Code signing is now available for Lambda, using AWS Signer. This allows account administrators to ensure that Lambda functions only accept signed code for deployment. You can learn more about using this new feature in the developer documentation.

AWS Step Functions

Synchronous Express Workflows have been launched for AWS Step Functions, providing a new way to run high-throughput Express Workflows. This feature allows developers to receive workflow responses without needing to poll services or build custom solutions. This is useful for high-volume microservice orchestration and fast compute tasks communicating via HTTPS.

The Step Functions service recently added support for other AWS services in workflows. You can now integrate API Gateway REST and HTTP APIs. This enables you to call API Gateway directly from a state machine as an asynchronous service integration.

Step Functions now also supports Amazon EKS service integration. This allows you to build workflows with steps that synchronously launch tasks in EKS and wait for a response. The service also announced support for Amazon Athena, so workflows can now query data in your S3 data lakes.

Amazon API Gateway

API Gateway now supports mutual TLS authentication, which is commonly used for business-to-business applications and standards such as Open Banking. This is provided at no additional cost. You can now also disable the default REST API endpoint when deploying APIs using custom domain names.

HTTP APIs now supports service integrations with Step Functions Synchronous Express Workflows. This is a result of the service team’s work to add the most popular features of REST APIs to HTTP APIs.

AWS X-Ray

X-Ray now integrates with Amazon S3 to trace upstream requests. If a Lambda function uses the X-Ray SDK, S3 sends tracing headers to downstream event subscribers. This allows you to use the X-Ray service map to view connections between S3 and other services used to process an application request.

X-Ray announced support for end-to-end tracing in Step Functions to make it easier to trace requests across multiple AWS services. It also launched X-Ray Insights in preview, which generates actionable insights based on anomalies detected in an application. For Java developers, the services released an auto-instrumentation agent, for collecting instrumentation without modifying existing code.

Additionally, the AWS Distro for Open Telemetry is now in preview. OpenTelemetry is a collaborative effort by tracing solution providers to create common approaches to instrumentation.

Amazon EventBridge

You can now use event replay to archive and replay events with Amazon EventBridge. After configuring an archive, EventBridge automatically stores all events or filtered events, based upon event pattern matching logic. Event replay can help with testing new features or changes in your code, or hydrating development or test environments.

EventBridge archive and replay

EventBridge also launched resource policies that simplify managing access to events across multiple AWS accounts. Resource policies provide a powerful mechanism for modeling event buses across multiple account and providing fine-grained access control to EventBridge API actions.

EventBridge resource policies

EventBridge announced support for Server-Side Encryption (SSE). Events are encrypted using AES-256 at no additional cost for customers. EventBridge also increased PutEvent quotas to 10,000 transactions per second in US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), and Europe (Ireland). This helps support workloads with high throughput.

Developer tools

The AWS SDK for JavaScript v3 was launched and includes first-class TypeScript support and a modular architecture. This makes it easier to import only the services needed to minimize deployment package sizes.

The AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM) is an AWS CloudFormation extension that makes it easier to build, manage, and maintain serverless applications. The latest versions include support for cached and parallel builds, together with container image support for Lambda functions.

You can use AWS SAM in the new AWS CloudShell, which provides a browser-based shell in the AWS Management Console. This can help run a subset of AWS SAM CLI commands as an alternative to using a dedicated instance or AWS Cloud9 terminal.

AWS CloudShell

Amazon SNS

Amazon SNS announced support for First-In-First-Out (FIFO) topics. These are used with SQS FIFO queues for applications that require strict message ordering with exactly once processing and message deduplication.

Amazon DynamoDB

Developers can now use PartiQL, an SQL-compatible query language, with DynamoDB tables, bringing familiar SQL syntax to NoSQL data. You can also choose to use Kinesis Data Streams to capture changes to tables.

For customers using DynamoDB global tables, you can now use your own encryption keys. While all data in DynamoDB is encrypted by default, this feature enables you to use customer managed keys (CMKs). DynamoDB also announced the ability to export table data to data lakes in Amazon S3. This enables you to use services like Amazon Athena and AWS Lake Formation to analyze DynamoDB data with no custom code required.

AWS Amplify and AWS AppSync

You can now use existing Amazon Cognito user pools and identity pools for Amplify projects, making it easier to build new applications for an existing user base. With the new AWS Amplify Admin UI, you can configure application backends without using the AWS Management Console.

AWS AppSync enabled AWS WAF integration, making it easier to protect GraphQL APIs against common web exploits. You can also implement rate-based rules to help slow down brute force attacks. Using AWS Managed Rules for AWS WAF provides a faster way to configure application protection without creating the rules directly.

Serverless Posts

October

November

December

Tech Talks & Events

We hold AWS Online Tech Talks covering serverless topics throughout the year. These are listed in the Serverless section of the AWS Online Tech Talks page. We also regularly deliver talks at conferences and events around the world, speak on podcasts, and record videos you can find to learn in bite-sized chunks.

Here are some from Q4:

Videos

October:

November:

December:

There are also other helpful videos covering Serverless available on the Serverless Land YouTube channel.

The Serverless Land website

Serverless Land website

To help developers find serverless learning resources, we have curated a list of serverless blogs, videos, events, and training programs at a new site, Serverless Land. This is regularly updated with new information – you can subscribe to the RSS feed for automatic updates or follow the LinkedIn page.

Still looking for more?

The Serverless landing page has lots of information. The Lambda resources page contains case studies, webinars, whitepapers, customer stories, reference architectures, and even more Getting Started tutorials.

You can also follow all of us on Twitter to see latest news, follow conversations, and interact with the team.

ICYMI: Serverless pre:Invent 2020

Post Syndicated from James Beswick original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/icymi-serverless-preinvent-2020/

During the last few weeks, the AWS serverless team has been releasing a wave of new features in the build-up to AWS re:Invent 2020. This post recaps some of the most important releases for serverless developers.

re:Invent is virtual and free to all attendees in 2020 – register here. See the complete list of serverless sessions planned and join the serverless DA team live on Twitch. Also, follow your DAs on Twitter for live recaps and Q&A during the event.

AWS re:Invent 2020

AWS Lambda

We launched Lambda Extensions in preview, enabling you to more easily integrate monitoring, security, and governance tools into Lambda functions. You can also build your own extensions that run code during Lambda lifecycle events, and there is an example extensions repo for starting development.

You can now send logs from Lambda functions to custom destinations by using Lambda Extensions and the new Lambda Logs API. Previously, you could only forward logs after they were written to Amazon CloudWatch Logs. Now, logging tools can receive log streams directly from the Lambda execution environment. This makes it easier to use your preferred tools for log management and analysis, including Datadog, Lumigo, New Relic, Coralogix, Honeycomb, or Sumo Logic.

Lambda Extensions API

Lambda launched support for Amazon MQ as an event source. Amazon MQ is a managed broker service for Apache ActiveMQ that simplifies deploying and scaling queues. This integration increases the range of messaging services that customers can use to build serverless applications. The event source operates in a similar way to using Amazon SQS or Amazon Kinesis. In all cases, the Lambda service manages an internal poller to invoke the target Lambda function.

We also released a new layer to make it simpler to integrate Amazon CodeGuru Profiler. This service helps identify the most expensive lines of code in a function and provides recommendations to help reduce cost. With this update, you can enable the profiler by adding the new layer and setting environment variables. There are no changes needed to the custom code in the Lambda function.

Lambda announced support for AWS PrivateLink. This allows you to invoke Lambda functions from a VPC without traversing the public internet. It provides private connectivity between your VPCs and AWS services. By using VPC endpoints to access the Lambda API from your VPC, this can replace the need for an Internet Gateway or NAT Gateway.

For developers building machine learning inferencing, media processing, high performance computing (HPC), scientific simulations, and financial modeling in Lambda, you can now use AVX2 support to help reduce duration and lower cost. By using packages compiled for AVX2 or compiling libraries with the appropriate flags, your code can then benefit from using AVX2 instructions to accelerate computation. In the blog post’s example, enabling AVX2 for an image-processing function increased performance by 32-43%.

Lambda now supports batch windows of up to 5 minutes when using SQS as an event source. This is useful for workloads that are not time-sensitive, allowing developers to reduce the number of Lambda invocations from queues. Additionally, the batch size has been increased from 10 to 10,000. This is now the same as the batch size for Kinesis as an event source, helping Lambda-based applications process more data per invocation.

Code signing is now available for Lambda, using AWS Signer. This allows account administrators to ensure that Lambda functions only accept signed code for deployment. Using signing profiles for functions, this provides granular control over code execution within the Lambda service. You can learn more about using this new feature in the developer documentation.

Amazon EventBridge

You can now use event replay to archive and replay events with Amazon EventBridge. After configuring an archive, EventBridge automatically stores all events or filtered events, based upon event pattern matching logic. You can configure a retention policy for archives to delete events automatically after a specified number of days. Event replay can help with testing new features or changes in your code, or hydrating development or test environments.

EventBridge archived events

EventBridge also launched resource policies that simplify managing access to events across multiple AWS accounts. This expands the use of a policy associated with event buses to authorize API calls. Resource policies provide a powerful mechanism for modeling event buses across multiple account and providing fine-grained access control to EventBridge API actions.

EventBridge resource policies

EventBridge announced support for Server-Side Encryption (SSE). Events are encrypted using AES-256 at no additional cost for customers. EventBridge also increased PutEvent quotas to 10,000 transactions per second in US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), and Europe (Ireland). This helps support workloads with high throughput.

AWS Step Functions

Synchronous Express Workflows have been launched for AWS Step Functions, providing a new way to run high-throughput Express Workflows. This feature allows developers to receive workflow responses without needing to poll services or build custom solutions. This is useful for high-volume microservice orchestration and fast compute tasks communicating via HTTPS.

The Step Functions service recently added support for other AWS services in workflows. You can now integrate API Gateway REST and HTTP APIs. This enables you to call API Gateway directly from a state machine as an asynchronous service integration.

Step Functions now also supports Amazon EKS service integration. This allows you to build workflows with steps that synchronously launch tasks in EKS and wait for a response. In October, the service also announced support for Amazon Athena, so workflows can now query data in your S3 data lakes.

These new integrations help minimize custom code and provide built-in error handling, parameter passing, and applying recommended security settings.

AWS SAM CLI

The AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM) is an AWS CloudFormation extension that makes it easier to build, manage, and maintains serverless applications. On November 10, the AWS SAM CLI tool released version 1.9.0 with support for cached and parallel builds.

By using sam build --cached, AWS SAM no longer rebuilds functions and layers that have not changed since the last build. Additionally, you can use sam build --parallel to build functions in parallel, instead of sequentially. Both of these new features can substantially reduce the build time of larger applications defined with AWS SAM.

Amazon SNS

Amazon SNS announced support for First-In-First-Out (FIFO) topics. These are used with SQS FIFO queues for applications that require strict message ordering with exactly once processing and message deduplication. This is designed for workloads that perform tasks like bank transaction logging or inventory management. You can also use message filtering in FIFO topics to publish updates selectively.

SNS FIFO

AWS X-Ray

X-Ray now integrates with Amazon S3 to trace upstream requests. If a Lambda function uses the X-Ray SDK, S3 sends tracing headers to downstream event subscribers. With this, you can use the X-Ray service map to view connections between S3 and other services used to process an application request.

AWS CloudFormation

AWS CloudFormation announced support for nested stacks in change sets. This allows you to preview changes in your application and infrastructure across the entire nested stack hierarchy. You can then review those changes before confirming a deployment. This is available in all Regions supporting CloudFormation at no extra charge.

The new CloudFormation modules feature was released on November 24. This helps you develop building blocks with embedded best practices and common patterns that you can reuse in CloudFormation templates. Modules are available in the CloudFormation registry and can be used in the same way as any native resource.

Amazon DynamoDB

For customers using DynamoDB global tables, you can now use your own encryption keys. While all data in DynamoDB is encrypted by default, this feature enables you to use customer managed keys (CMKs). DynamoDB also announced support for global tables in the Europe (Milan) and Europe (Stockholm) Regions. This feature enables you to scale global applications for local access in workloads running in different Regions and replicate tables for higher availability and disaster recovery (DR).

The DynamoDB service announced the ability to export table data to data lakes in Amazon S3. This enables you to use services like Amazon Athena and AWS Lake Formation to analyze DynamoDB data with no custom code required. This feature does not consume table capacity and does not impact performance and availability. To learn how to use this feature, see this documentation.

AWS Amplify and AWS AppSync

You can now use existing Amazon Cognito user pools and identity pools for Amplify projects, making it easier to build new applications for an existing user base. AWS Amplify Console, which provides a fully managed static web hosting service, is now available in the Europe (Milan), Middle East (Bahrain), and Asia Pacific (Hong Kong) Regions. This service makes it simpler to bring automation to deploying and hosting single-page applications and static sites.

AWS AppSync enabled AWS WAF integration, making it easier to protect GraphQL APIs against common web exploits. You can also implement rate-based rules to help slow down brute force attacks. Using AWS Managed Rules for AWS WAF provides a faster way to configure application protection without creating the rules directly. AWS AppSync also recently expanded service availability to the Asia Pacific (Hong Kong), Middle East (Bahrain), and China (Ningxia) Regions, making the service now available in 21 Regions globally.

Still looking for more?

Join the AWS Serverless Developer Advocates on Twitch throughout re:Invent for live Q&A, session recaps, and more! See this page for the full schedule.

For more serverless learning resources, visit Serverless Land.

ICYMI: Serverless Q3 2020

Post Syndicated from James Beswick original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/icymi-serverless-q3-2020/

Welcome to the 11th edition of the AWS Serverless ICYMI (in case you missed it) quarterly recap. Every quarter, we share all of the most recent product launches, feature enhancements, blog posts, webinars, Twitch live streams, and other interesting things that you might have missed!

Q3 Calendar

In case you missed our last ICYMI, checkout what happened last quarter here.

AWS Lambda

MSK trigger in Lambda

In August, we launched support for using Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka (Amazon MSK) as an event source for Lambda functions. Lambda has existing support for processing streams from Kinesis and DynamoDB. Now you can process data streams from Amazon MSK and easily integrate with downstream serverless workflows. This integration allows you to process batches of records, one per partition at a time, and scale concurrency by increasing the number of partitions in a topic.

We also announced support for Java 8 (Corretto) in Lambda, and you can now use Amazon Linux 2 for custom runtimes. Amazon Linux 2 is the latest generation of Amazon Linux and provides an application environment with access to the latest innovations in the Linux ecosystem.

Amazon API Gateway

API integrations

API Gateway continued to launch new features for HTTP APIs, including new integrations for five AWS services. HTTP APIs can now route requests to AWS AppConfig, Amazon EventBridge, Amazon Kinesis Data Streams, Amazon SQS, and AWS Step Functions. This makes it easy to create webhooks for business logic hosted in these services. The service also expanded the authorization capabilities, adding Lambda and IAM authorizers, and enabled wildcards in custom domain names. Over time, we will continue to improve and migrate features from REST APIs to HTTP APIs.

In September, we launched mutual TLS for both regional REST APIs and HTTP APIs. This is a new method for client-to-server authentication to enhance the security of your API. It can protect your data from exploits such as client spoofing or man-in-the-middle. This enforces two-way TLS (or mTLS) which enables certificate-based authentication both ways from client-to-server and server-to-client.

Enhanced observability variables now make it easier to troubleshoot each phase of an API request. Each phase from AWS WAF through to integration adds latency to a request, returns a status code, or raises an error. Developers can use these variables to identify the cause of latency within the API request. You can configure these variables in AWS SAM templates – see the demo application to see how you can use these variables in your own application.

AWS Step Functions

X-Ray tracing in Step Functions

We added X-Ray tracing support for Step Functions workflows, giving you full visibility across state machine executions, making it easier to analyze and debug distributed applications. Using the service map view, you can visually identify errors in resources and view error rates across workflow executions. You can then drill into the root cause of an error. You can enable X-Ray in existing workflows by a single-click in the console. Additionally, you can now also visualize Step Functions workflows directly in the Lambda console. To see this new feature, open the Step Functions state machines page in the Lambda console.

Step Functions also increased the payload size to 256 KB and added support for string manipulation, new comparison operators, and improved output processing. These updates were made to the Amazon States Languages (ASL), which is a JSON-based language for defining state machines. The new operators include comparison operators, detecting the existence of a field, wildcarding, and comparing two input fields.

AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM)

AWS SAM goes GA

AWS SAM is an open source framework for building serverless applications that converts a shorthand syntax into CloudFormation resources.

In July, the AWS SAM CLI became generally available (GA). This tool operates on SAM templates and provides developers with local tooling for building serverless applications. The AWS SAM CLI offers a rich set of tools that enable developers to build serverless applications quickly.

AWS X-Ray

X-Ray Insights

X-Ray launched a public preview of X-Ray Insights, which can help produce actionable insights for anomalies within your applications. Designed to make it easier to analyze and debug distributed applications, it can proactively identify issues caused by increases in faults. Using the incident timeline, you can visualize when the issue started and how it developed. The service identifies a probable root cause along with any anomalous services. There is no additional instrumentation needed to use X-Ray Insights – you can enable this feature within X-Ray Groups.

Amazon Kinesis

In July, Kinesis announced support for data delivery to generic HTTP endpoints, and service providers like Datadog, New Relic, MongoDB, and Splunk. Use the Amazon Kinesis console to configure your data producers to send data to Amazon Kinesis Data Firehose and specify one of these new delivery targets. Additionally, Amazon Kinesis Data Firehose is now available in the Europe (Milan) and Africa (Cape Town) AWS Regions.

Serverless Posts

Our team is always working to build and write content to help our customers better understand all our serverless offerings. Here is a list of the latest posts published to the AWS Compute Blog this quarter.

July

August

September

Tech Talks & Events

We hold several AWS Online Tech Talks covering serverless tech talks throughout the year, so look out for them in the Serverless section of the AWS Online Tech Talks page. We also regularly deliver talks at conferences and events around the globe, regularly join in on podcasts, and record short videos you can find to learn in quick byte sized chunks.

Here are some from Q3:

Learning Paths

Ask Around Me

Learn How to Build and Deploy a Web App Backend that Supports Authentication, Geohashing, and Real-Time Messaging

Ask Around Me is an example web app that shows how to build authenticaton, geohashing and real-time messaging into your serverless applications. This learning path includes videos and learning resources to help walk you through the application.

Build a Serverless Web App for a Theme Park

This five-video learning path walks you through the Innovator Island workshop, and provides learning resources for building realtime serverless web applications.

Live streams

July

August

September

There are also a number of other helpful video series covering serverless available on the Serverless Land YouTube channel.

New AWS Serverless Heroes

Serverless Heroes Q3 2020

We’re pleased to welcome Angela Timofte, Luca Bianchi, Matthieu Napoli, Peter Hanssens, Sheen Brisals, and Tom McLaughlin to the growing list of AWS Serverless Heroes.

The AWS Hero program is a selection of worldwide experts that have been recognized for their positive impact within the community. They share helpful knowledge and organize events and user groups. They’re also contributors to numerous open-source projects in and around serverless technologies.

New! The Serverless Land website

Serverless Land

To help developers find serverless learning resources, we have curated a list of serverless blogs, videos, events and training programs at a new site, Serverless Land. This is regularly updated with new information – you can subscribe to the RSS feed for automatic updates, follow the LinkedIn page or subscribe to the YouTube channel.

Still looking for more?

The Serverless landing page has lots of information. The Lambda resources page contains case studies, webinars, whitepapers, customer stories, reference architectures, and even more Getting Started tutorials.

You can also follow all of us on Twitter to see the latest news, follow conversations, and interact with the team.

Introducing AWS X-Ray new integration with AWS Step Functions

Post Syndicated from Benjamin Smith original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/introducing-aws-x-ray-new-integration-with-aws-step-functions/

AWS Step Functions now integrates with AWS X-Ray to provide a comprehensive tracing experience for serverless orchestration workflows.

Step Functions allows you to build resilient serverless orchestration workflows with AWS services such as AWS Lambda, Amazon SNS, Amazon DynamoDB, and more. Step Functions provides a history of executions for a given state machine in the AWS Management Console or with Amazon CloudWatch Logs.

AWS X-Ray is a distributed tracing system that helps developers analyze and debug their applications. It traces requests as they travel through the individual services and resources that make up an application. This provides an end-to-end view of how an application is performing.

What is new?

The new Step Functions integration with X-Ray provides an additional workflow monitoring experience. Developers can now view maps and timelines of the underlying components that make up a Step Functions workflow. This helps to discover performance issues, detect permission problems, and track requests made to and from other AWS services.

The Step Functions integration with X-Ray can be analyzed in three constructs:

Service map: The service map view shows information about a Step Functions workflow and all of its downstream services. This enables developers to identify services where errors are occurring, connections with high latency, or traces for requests that are unsuccessful among the large set of services within their account. The service map aggregates data from specific time intervals from one minute through six hours and has a 30-day retention.

Trace map view: The trace map view shows in-depth information from a single trace as it moves through each service. Resources are listed in the order in which they are invoked.

Trace timeline: The trace timeline view shows the propagation of a trace through the workflow and is paired with a time scale called a latency distribution histogram. This shows how long it takes for a service to complete its requests. The trace is composed of segments and sub-segments. A segment represents the Step Functions execution. Subsegments each represent a state transition.

Getting Started

X-Ray tracing is enabled using AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM), AWS CloudFormation or from within the AWS Management Console. To get started with Step Functions and X-Ray using the AWS Management Console:

  1. Go to the Step Functions page of the AWS Management Console.
  2. Choose Get Started, review the Hello World example, then choose Next.
  3. Check Enable X-Ray tracing from the Tracing section.

Workflow visibility

The following Step Functions workflow example is invoked via Amazon EventBridge when a new file is uploaded to an Amazon S3 bucket. The workflow uses Amazon Textract to detect text from an image file. It translates the text into multiple languages using Amazon Translate and saves the results into an Amazon DynamoDB table. X-Ray has been enabled for this workflow.

To view the X-Ray service map for this workflow, I choose the X-Ray trace map link at the top of the Step Functions Execution details page:

The service map is generated from trace data sent through the workflow. Toggling the Service Icons displays each individual service in this workload. The size of each node is weighted by traffic or health, depending on the selection.

This shows the error percentage and average response times for each downstream service. T/min is the number of traces sent per minute in the selected time range. The following map shows a 67% error rate for the Step Functions workflow.

Accelerated troubleshooting

By drilling down through the service map, to the individual trace map, I quickly pinpoint the error in this workflow. I choose the Step Functions service from the trace map. This opens the service details panel. I then choose View traces. The trace data shows that from a group of nine responses, 3 completed successfully and 6 completed with error. This correlates with the response times listed for each individual trace. Three traces complete in over 5 seconds, while 6 took less than 3 seconds.

Choosing one of the faster traces opens the trace timeline map. This illustrates the aggregate response time for the workflow and each of its states. It shows a state named Read text from image invoked by a Lambda Function. This takes 2.3 seconds of the workflow’s total 2.9 seconds to complete.

A warning icon indicates that an error has occurred in this Lambda function. Hovering the curser over the icon, reveals that the property “Blocks” is undefined. This shows that an error occurred within the Lambda function (no text was found within the image). The Lambda function did not have sufficient error handling to manage this error gracefully, so the workflow exited.

Here’s how that same state execution failure looks in the Step Functions Graph inspector.

Performance profiling

The visualizations provided in the service map are useful for estimating the average latency in a workflow, but issues are often indicated by statistical outliers. To help investigate these, the Response distribution graph shows a distribution of latencies for each state within a workflow, and its downstream services.

Latency is the amount of time between when a request starts and when it completes. It shows duration on the x-axis, and the percentage of requests that match each duration on the y-axis. Additional filters are applied to find traces by duration or status code. This helps to discover patterns and to identify specific cases and clients with issues at a given percentile.

Sampling

X-Ray applies a sampling algorithm to determine which requests to trace. A sampling rate of 100% is used for state machines with an execution rate of less than one per second. State machines running at a rate greater than one execution per second default to a 5% sampling rate. Configure the sampling rate to determine what percentage of traces to sample. Enable trace sampling with the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) using the CreateStateMachine and UpdateStateMachine APIs with the enable-Trace-Sampling attribute:

--enable-trace-sampling true

It can also be configured in the AWS Management Console.

Trace data retention and limits

X-Ray retains tracing data for up to 30 days with a single trace holding up to 7 days of execution data. The current minimum guaranteed trace size is 100Kb, which equates to approximately 80 state transitions.   The actual number of state transitions supported will depend on the upstream and downstream calls and duration of the workflow. When the trace size limit is reached, the trace cannot be updated with new segments or updates to existing segments. The traces that have reached the limit are indicated with a banner in the X-Ray console.

For a full service comparison of X-Ray trace data and Step Functions execution history, please refer to the documentation.

Conclusion

The Step Functions integration with X-Ray provides a single monitoring dashboard for workflows running at scale. It provides a high-level system overview of all workflow resources and the ability to drill down to view detailed timelines of workflow executions. You can now use the orchestration capabilities of Step Functions with the tracing, visualization, and debug capabilities of AWS X-Ray.

This enables developers to reduce problem resolution times by visually identifying errors in resources and viewing error rates across workflow executions. You can profile and improve application performance by identifying outliers while analyzing and debugging high latency and jitter in workflow executions.

This feature is available in all Regions where both AWS Step Functions and AWS X-Ray are available. View the AWS Regions table to learn more. For pricing information, see AWS X-Ray pricing.

To learn more about Step Functions, read the Developer Guide. For more serverless learning resources, visit https://serverlessland.com.

ICYMI: Serverless Q2 2020

Post Syndicated from Moheeb Zara original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/icymi-serverless-q2-2020/

Welcome to the 10th edition of the AWS Serverless ICYMI (in case you missed it) quarterly recap. Every quarter, we share all of the most recent product launches, feature enhancements, blog posts, webinars, Twitch live streams, and other interesting things that you might have missed!

In case you missed our last ICYMI, checkout what happened last quarter here.

AWS Lambda

AWS Lambda functions can now mount an Amazon Elastic File System (EFS). EFS is a scalable and elastic NFS file system storing data within and across multiple Availability Zones (AZ) for high availability and durability. In this way, you can use a familiar file system interface to store and share data across all concurrent execution environments of one, or more, Lambda functions. EFS supports full file system access semantics, such as strong consistency and file locking.

Using different EFS access points, each Lambda function can access different paths in a file system, or use different file system permissions. You can share the same EFS file system with Amazon EC2 instances, containerized applications using Amazon ECS and AWS Fargate, and on-premises servers.

Learn how to create an Amazon EFS-mounted Lambda function using the AWS Serverless Application Model in Sessions With SAM Episode 10.

With our recent launch of .NET Core 3.1 AWS Lambda runtime, we’ve also released version 2.0.0 of the PowerShell module AWSLambdaPSCore. The new version now supports PowerShell 7.

Amazon EventBridge

At AWS re:Invent 2019, we introduced a preview of Amazon EventBridge schema registry and discovery. This is a way to store the structure of the events (the schema) in a central location. It can simplify using events in your code by generating the code to process them for Java, Python, and TypeScript. In April, we announced general availability of EventBridge Schema Registry.

We also added support for resource policies. Resource policies allow sharing of schema repository across different AWS accounts and organizations. In this way, developers on different teams can search for and use any schema that another team has added to the shared registry.

Ben Smith, AWS Serverless Developer Advocate, published a guide on how to capture user events and monitor user behavior using the Amazon EventBridge partner integration with Auth0. This enables better insight into your application to help deliver a more customized experience for your users.

AWS Step Functions

In May, we launched a new AWS Step Functions service integration with AWS CodeBuild. CodeBuild is a fully managed continuous integration service that compiles source code, runs tests, and produces packages that are ready for deployment. Now, during the execution of a state machine, you can start or stop a build, get build report summaries, and delete past build executions records.

With the new AWS CodePipeline support to invoke Step Functions you can customize your delivery pipeline with choices, external validations, or parallel tasks. Each of those tasks can now call CodeBuild to create a custom build following specific requirements. Learn how to build a continuous integration workflow with Step Functions and AWS CodeBuild.

Rob Sutter, AWS Serverless Developer Advocate, has published a video series on Step Functions. We’ve compiled a playlist on YouTube to help you on your serverless journey.

AWS Amplify

The AWS Amplify Framework announced in April that they have rearchitected the Amplify UI component library to enable JavaScript developers to easily add authentication scenarios to their web apps. The authentication components include numerous improvements over previous versions. These include the ability to automatically sign in users after sign-up confirmation, better customization, and improved accessibility.

Amplify also announced the availability of Amplify Framework iOS and Amplify Framework Android libraries and tools. These help mobile application developers to easily build secure and scalable cloud-powered applications. Previously, mobile developers relied on a combination of tools and SDKS along with the Amplify CLI to create and manage a backend.

These new native libraries are oriented around use-cases, such as authentication, data storage and access, machine learning predictions etc. They provide a declarative interface that enables you to programmatically apply best practices with abstractions.

A mono-repository is a repository that contains more than one logical project, each in its own repository. Monorepo support is now available for the AWS Amplify Console, allowing developers to connect Amplify Console to a sub-folder in your mono-repository. Learn how to set up continuous deployment and hosting on a monorepo with the Amplify Console.

Amazon Keyspaces (for Apache Cassandra)

Amazon Managed Apache Cassandra Service (MCS) is now generally available under the new name: Amazon Keyspaces (for Apache Cassandra). Amazon Keyspaces is built on Apache Cassandra and can be used as a fully managed serverless database. Your applications can read and write data from Amazon Keyspaces using your existing Cassandra Query Language (CQL) code, with little or no changes. Danilo Poccia explains how to use Amazon Keyspace with API Gateway and Lambda in this launch post.

AWS Glue

In April we extended AWS Glue jobs, based on Apache Spark, to run continuously and consume data from streaming platforms such as Amazon Kinesis Data Streams and Apache Kafka (including the fully-managed Amazon MSK). Learn how to manage a serverless extract, transform, load (ETL) pipeline with Glue in this guide by Danilo Poccia.

Serverless posts

Our team is always working to build and write content to help our customers better understand all our serverless offerings. Here is a list of the latest published to the AWS Compute Blog this quarter.

Introducing the new serverless LAMP stack

Ben Smith, AWS Serverless Developer Advocate, introduces the Serverless LAMP stack. He explains how to use serverless technologies with PHP. Learn about the available tools, frameworks and strategies to build serverless applications, and why now is the right time to start.

 

Building a location-based, scalable, serverless web app

James Beswick, AWS Serverless Developer Advocate, walks through building a location-based, scalable, serverless web app. Ask Around Me is an example project that allows users to ask questions within a geofence to create an engaging community driven experience.

Building well-architected serverless applications

Julian Wood, AWS Serverless Developer Advocate, published two blog series on building well-architected serverless applications. Learn how to better understand application health and lifecycle management.

Device hacking with serverless

Go beyond the browser with these creative and physical projects. Moheeb Zara, AWS Serverless Developer Advocate, published several serverless powered device hacks, all using off the shelf parts.

April

May

June

Tech Talks and events

We hold AWS Online Tech Talks covering serverless topics throughout the year. You can find these in the serverless section of the AWS Online Tech Talks page. We also regularly join in on podcasts, and record short videos you can find to learn in quick bite-sized chunks.

Here are the highlights from Q2.

Innovator Island Workshop

Learn how to build a complete serverless web application for a popular theme park called Innovator Island. James Beswick created a video series to walk you through this popular workshop at your own pace.

Serverless First Function

In May, we held a new virtual event series, the Serverless-First Function, to help you and your organization get the most out of the cloud. The first event, on May 21, included sessions from Amazon CTO, Dr. Werner Vogels, and VP of Serverless at AWS, David Richardson. The second event, May 28, was packed with sessions with our AWS Serverless Developer Advocate team. Catch up on the AWS Twitch channel.

Live streams

The AWS Serverless Developer Advocate team hosts several weekly livestreams on the AWS Twitch channel covering a wide range of topics. You can catch up on all our past content, including workshops, on the AWS Serverless YouTube channel.

Eric Johnson hosts “Sessions with SAM” every Thursday at 10AM PST. Each week, Eric shows how to use SAM to solve different serverless challenges. He explains how to use SAM templates to build powerful serverless applications. Catch up on the last few episodes.

James Beswick, AWS Serverless Developer Advocate, has compiled a round-up of all his content from Q2. He has plenty of videos ranging from beginner to advanced topics.

AWS Serverless Heroes

We’re pleased to welcome Kyuhyun Byun and Serkan Özal to the growing list of AWS Serverless Heroes. The AWS Hero program is a selection of worldwide experts that have been recognized for their positive impact within the community. They share helpful knowledge and organize events and user groups. They’re also contributors to numerous open-source projects in and around serverless technologies.

Still looking for more?

The Serverless landing page has much more information. The Lambda resources page contains case studies, webinars, whitepapers, customer stories, reference architectures, and even more getting started tutorials.

Follow the AWS Serverless team on our new LinkedIn page we share all the latest news and events. You can also follow all of us on Twitter to see latest news, follow conversations, and interact with the team.

Chris Munns: @chrismunns
Eric Johnson: @edjgeek
James Beswick: @jbesw
Moheeb Zara: @virgilvox
Ben Smith: @benjamin_l_s
Rob Sutter: @rts_rob
Julian Wood: @julian_wood